Monday, December 31, 2012

Korihor and Alma go into a bar...


In the earliest days of the LDS Church, a large contingent of the membership came from the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries like Sweden.  Brits and Swedes (and Danes) were a big reason why the church is what it is today.  And I believe, they are to become the catalysis of what the church will soon become.  It appears that Europeans are leading the way to vast changes which will be thrust upon the church as it reforms in the Internet age.   Some of this was seen in the recent Swedish Rescue and in the most recent Proclamation to the First Presidency by former bishops and stake presidents in the UK.

See these links for more details.
http://www.mormonthink.com/swedish-rescue.htm
http://stevebloor.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/proclamation-to-the-first-presidency-quorum-of-the-twelve/

I believe these same groups have a second chapter to add to this reformation tale.  But before I get to that, I want to comment about...well, some of your comments to me.

In the past few weeks I have received many positive messages for the release of the Mission President’s Handbook, and particularly discussions on the way the church asks the presidents not to disclose the reimbursements.  However, several readers, some former close friends, have had some negative comments.  Some tell me that I revealed nothing new—that members have known the Mormon clergy receive “modest stipends” and “necessary living expenses”.  I was asked: How could I expect them to work full time in the church service and not be compensated for their living needs?  Some even told me that I have become such an anti-mormon that in fact, my acts are practically anti-christ.  One even called me a Korihor.

I looked up the Book of Mormon story in Alma 30, relating the verbal melee between the prophet Alma and his critic Korihor.  A few particular verses struck me (Alma 30:31-34)
“And [Korihor] did rise up in great swelling words before Alma, and did revile against the priests and teachers, accusing them of leading away the people after the silly traditions of their fathers, for the sake of glutting on the labors of the people.  Now Alma said unto him: Thou knowest that we do not glut ourselves upon the labors of this people; for behold I have labored even from the commencement of the reign of the judges until now, with mine own hands for my support, notwithstanding my many travels round about the land to declare the word of God unto my people.  And notwithstanding the many labors which I have performed in the church, I have never received so much as even one senine for my labor; neither has any of my brethren, save it were in the judgment-seat; and then we have received only according to law for our time.  And now, if we do not receive anything for our labors in the church, what doth it profit us to labor in the church save it were to declare the truth, that we may have rejoicings in the joy of our brethren?”

This is the test that the Book of Mormon creates for honest motivations of the clergy.  If they do it of their own, without compensation, then it what does it profit a prophet to spend his life declaring the truth?

Indeed.  If it is shown that the prophets, apostles, seventy or mission presidents are paid even one senine (whatever that is), would this mean they just might have ulterior motives?  Perhaps not.  What if they receive a million senines?  What about fancy homes in gated communities paid for by the corporation of the presiding bishopric?  Expensive automobiles with armored protection at the courtesy of LDS secret security?  What if the church pays their debts and gives their family forgivable loans?  If the top leadership were found engaged in criminal behavior, would that cause members to pay a little more attention to what Korihor had to say?  

In the coming weeks, Utah government may be presented with what some see as scandalous behavior by members of good standing in the highest places of their state offices.  (For a hint of the background, see http://www.adventure-journal.com/2012/03/utah-governor-wants-to-take-over-federal-land/ and this Desnews article)  There are some members who may see the apparent illicit land-sell-off as unbecoming of a semi-high ranking Mormon.  What if the highest leaders of the church have engaged in highly questionable real-estate transfers for years?  The outrage coming for UT government leaders might be eclipsed when other revelations of the religious leaders are unveiled.  

Until then, however, we already know that in foreign countries, the kind of tax-evading behavior advocated in the Mission President’s Handbook is very likely illegal and may bring criminal charges against individual LDS leaders in the coming year.

On the one hand, the Catholic Church “received a generous early Christmas present from European Union chiefs with the announcement that illegal tax exemption (on Italian property tax) from 2006 to 2011, which saved the Catholic Church billions of euros, will not have to be paid back.” (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-lets-catholic-church-off-its-billioneuro-tax-bill-8426163.html )  However, it was always known that the Vatican claimed these exemptions on its properties.  They, presumably, didn’t hide the information, they just disputed that they should be billed for the tax since they are a “church” even if the properties under question had established commercial enterprise.  The EU is taking a pragmatic view of what would be a very difficult collection operation if it were to force the Catholic Church into past compliance.  They forgave the past, but will be steadfast in collecting the taxes here out, if my understanding is correct.

On the other hand, the MP Handbook clearly outlines, in what is meant to be a secret guideline, that they will evade taxes by never disclosing the amount of money paid to the mission presidents, by using a church-controlled bank account, and relying on the MP to remain silent, even to tax advisers, about the pay outs.

There are at least two European countries where the tax law is very clear about reimbursements being taxable: The UK and Sweden.   The church is, apparently, not paying these (mission presidents are not filing these, believing the church does it for them, but the government filing records seem to be missing these incomes).

The UK collects income tax and payroll taxes.  The following UK Tax document (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/worksheets/sa102m-notes.pdf) outlines what can and what cannot be excluded from “ministry” taxes and income.  It lists “gifts and grants”, “stipends”, “Personal expenses paid for you, living accommodation, vouchers and credit cards”, and “Vicarage or manse expenses” among many other items in its 10 pages.  The latter “Vicarage or manse expenses” is listed as utilities, home (manse) costs, gardening, etc.  These are the very types of things listed by the MP Handbook as being reimbursed. 

In Sweden, the tax law requiring these reimbursements be taxed has been around for many years, but in 2012, the Jehovah Witnesses challenged the law (decision made by the Swedish Skatterättsnämnden  Court on 30 April 2012). The Supreme Administrative Court (Case No. 3330-11) established taxes to be paid on simple free housing, reimbursed meals and a small cash amount of SEK 1,000 per month to cover other private expenditures.  I’m told by a person who works with the Swedish Tax Authority that, regarding taxes, “the crucial point is that the person gives any kind of labor return to the religious organization who hand out the cash or benefits...The only time one can receive benefits or cash and not being taxable income is when one lives a simple monastery life without any labor return to the giver.”

At this time, a challenge is already placed with the UK HM Revenue & Customs authority. The church apparently has a UK company (or several of them) which states it acts for the US-based church on transactions for its missions.  Remember, however, all LDS businesses are owned under two sole-corporations: The Corporation of the President of the COJCOLDS, and The Corporation of the Presiding Bishopric of COJCOLDS.  If and when criminal tax evasion charges are made by the UKHMRC, it just may go to the prophet (or presiding bishop) himself, as sole corporate owner.  The same should happen in Sweden, where our fellow members may act on the same charges and tax rules.

In the US, the situation is a little more difficult.  The IRS leaves well established churches alone.  However, if clear evidence of secretly funding of personal clergy (i.e., apostles) to the tune of millions in real-estate or other dealings were shown, then the IRS would have to take notice.  

Stay tuned.  2013 may be a new year for the Mormon moment.

The Disney-ish Polynesian Cultural Center, LDS owned amusement park 

62 comments:

  1. While I don't recall where I read this in the New Testament, I do recall reading that at one point the apostles asked Jesus how they were going to eat, and where they would sleep hile on their mission. Jesus said to let the people take care of them. While this isn't exactly the same, in modern day tithe money is taking care of missionary presidents.

    The Lord commands us to tithe 10 percent to the church. The Lord does not tell us to also decided how that money is handled. If it is being handled incorrectly that is their sin, not the giver's sin. Man and sin goes hand in hand. Man is not perfect, goverments are not perfect. In fact man is government and they have done and continue to do irresponsible things with tax payer money. It is Heavenly Father's plan that is perfect, not man.

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    1. Do you believe Christ meant for the apostles to secure mansions & Mercedes from those that take care of them?

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    2. Interesting that, as a Mormon, you would use the New Testament to counter the argument in the Book of Mormon presented in this blog. Good job.

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    3. Jesus said not to worry about how you personally would be provided for. He didn't say not to worry how he spent the money you gave him, let alone to wolves wearing sheepskins.

      Delete
  2. I'm a little confused- has the Church launched an appeal against HMRC's intent to collect taxes, or has someone here (UK) launched an appeal against tax avoidance by the Church? The latter action is a political hot potato at the moment, the results could be interesting.

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    1. Someone initiated a tax EVASION complaint in the UK. Evasion is far worse than avoidance. It brings criminal penalties along with fines.

      Delete
  3. I've always told my daughter that if she is doing what she is supposed to do, if she is following the rules of school, and the laws of the land I can back her up. Sort of like speeding, if she doesn't go over the speed limit she doesn't have to worry about looking over her shoulder.

    With that in mind, as I said before if your paying 10 percent tithe it isn't your job to decide how it is spent. You are doing what the Lord commanded you. When I investigated this church I chased all the negative accusations that people made against this church. And every time I either found out people were lying or they were exaggerating, or were they were putting a false spin on things. I don't know which of those you are doing. However, even if you were telling the truth, again as long as members of the church are doing what the Lord commands it doesn't matter. It is up to the Lord to judge, not you, nor I. If some people in the church are sinning, that is their sin and the Lords judgement which always comes, sooner or later it always comes.

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    1. If you want to hide your head in the sand and ignore the metric tons of evidence discounting LDS claims, and just day their lies or exaggerations, even the scientific refereed publications on DNA, archeology, linguistics, etc, that's an interesting way of living your life.

      However, to say blind obedience to tithing when obvious misgivings exist about how the church uses the funds, likely even evading taxes criminal style, you're not being moral. You're duped. Think for yourself. Really be honest about the evidence, quit excusing yourself as justified by choosing blindness.

      Delete
  4. I'm in my fifties. I converted seven years ago. Keeping that in mind, I'm obviously more familiar with the Bible then the BofM, so when I think about things those scriptures are going to come to my mind faster. Nothing sinister or "odd," about that. I've read "expert," opinions from both sides regarding DNA and other issues. No one seems to agree or have 100 percent proof of anything. In fact if I were seeking human proof of any God I'd never believe they exist. That is where and how faith comes in. And I choose to have faith in my Heavenly Father. I know man will never meet my requirements. What would I gain by proving that man is wrong? What do I gain by proving that man may be committing sins? As I walk through my daily life I can choose to see all the imperfections in people and treat them badly. Or, I can choose to see my imperfections and better my self. Or, I can choose to help others and by doing so uplift them and myself.

    By the way, in regards to DNA at some point in time science is going to discover we all have the same strand of DNA. Because we all came from the same Heavenly Father. What you say is so funny, while at the same time very sad, for you and your followers.

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    1. Do you understand and agree with established evolutionary facts/theory? Do you think Adam & Eve were literally the first humans and the human race is only seven thousand years old? By your comments on DNA, it seems you have creationists misconceptions.

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  5. Also, if I were hiding my head why in the world would I take time to even read what is on this blog? I actually look at blogs and other web sites like this because I learn more about people and Heavenly Fathers plan through sites like this.

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  6. @sandbox

    You do understand that there are experts that can prove evolution and there are experts that can prove creation? Plus, there are experts that can prove there is no such thing as evolution or creation. Did you have a point somewhere in there? You do understand that the experts established a very long time ago that man cannot fly? You do understand that there are experts that said the world was flat? You do understand that many, many years ago man said there was no way a man could walk on the moon?

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    1. "Experts who can prove Creation"? Pray identify a few of them, and I'll gladly submit to a challenge on "scientific knowledge" if the stakes are interesting enough. And I'm not a scientist...

      Man still cannot fly unaided, which is why you're engaging in straw man tactics...

      And as for "man walking on the moon," the most noteworthy individual I recall who said that was none other than Joseph Fielding Smith, of whom you may heard...

      Delete
  7. You can only think of Joseph Fielding Smith because that is where your hate is focused. You also are doing exactly what Joseph Smith said you'd do. Too funny!

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    1. Dave, thanks for letting this Anonymous Mormon post. It shows me the intellect of some members of the LDS church.

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  8. Always learning but never coming to the understanding.

    The problem with you folks is you're buying into your self elevated intellect. You are so puffed up in yourselves that you refused to believe that there is a higher God named Elohim, and his son Jesus. Your self elevated intellect has you convinced you that if no one can see your way they must be stupid. I could find this insulting, but instead I find it both sad and funny.

    Of course Dave lets people make comments, otherwise he'd be guilty of what he accuses the church of being!

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    1. The church leaders have counseled members to avoid visiting anti-Mormon sites. It is fun to see a Mormon disregard one's inspired leaders. Posting anonymous hides these visits from the Bishop. Thanks again Dave.

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    2. ” Of course Dave lets people make comments, otherwise he'd be guilty of what he accuses the church of being!”

      Accuses?
      Are you saying the church doesn't censor? You truly believe that?

      Delete
  9. I have actually said in Gospel Doctrine class that I visit sites like this. This is really too funny because you're convinced that you can't make choices for yourself in the church. And yet I'm proof that you can. What you actually can't do in this church, I have no desire to do. But then what you can't do in this church, is just a small picture of what you can't do in the Celestial Kingdom. Darkness cannot live in light.

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    1. Does your bishop knows of your porn addition?

      http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=963
      "They publish theological pornography that is damaging to the spirit. None of it is worth casting an eye upon. Do not read the anti-Mormon materials."

      I don't remember Jesus speaking kindly of hypocrites.

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    2. Theological pornography? I thought that was the stuff B. Young wrote about Mary and Heavenly Father.

      There are smarter LDS members out there than Anon dude, but each of his posts seems sillier than the last.

      Delete
    3. ” This is really too funny because you're convinced that you can't make choices for yourself in the church. And yet I'm proof that you can.”

      And I'm documented proof - this blog with attendant letters - that you cannot choose for yourself in the church.

      Delete
  10. tapir rider, you are a perfect example of what I have been talkinga about. People posts links in a weak attempt to prove their point. And in doing so end up with mud on their face! Elder Packer clearly stated those that are weak in faith should not read theological pornography. I'm not weak in my faith, plus it clearly states, "should not," not forbids. You poor fools who grew up in the church somehow forgot to think for yourselves.

    Matjoh, If all you can do is attempt to elevate your "silly," intellect by putting down my replys how weak does that make your intellect?

    Mormon Think, Yes you can choose for yourself other than certain laws and/or breaking certain covanants. You knew/know what those laws and convanants are. When you choose not to follow them you are make a choice, are you not? If you choose not to follow them then you can be excommunicated. Plus, even on simple things you skew them. To give an example, what if someone asked for a description of a giraffe? Someone that never saw a giraffe. And suppose you decide to give a totally inaccurate description? Suppose you told that person that a giraffe sits close to the ground, that it is pink and purple with strips? If that person didn't seek out for themselves what a giraffe really looks like they will forever believe your description is correct. That is what you are doing about the LDS faith. You are giving your spin!

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    1. So you pick and choose which words of the living apostles you will obey. You are not being very wise.

      http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=28e1cb7a29c20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=198bf4b13819d110VgnVCM1000003a94610aRCRD

      "How does obeying our Church leaders actually help make us free rather than bring us into bondage, as Korihor claimed?"

      Do I have mud on my face? What do you have on yours?

      http://i.imgur.com/Bjmi7.jpg

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    2. "You are giving your spin!"

      Show me what on Mormonthink that is wrong. Spin? What you mean is, MT doesn't "spin" the LDS party line. so what? Facts aren't spin.

      Show us what on MT isn't factual. That's the bottom line.

      Delete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. tapir rider, again I can see how you'd be leaving this church. You can't tell the difference between a commandment and a suggestion. You're imprisoned by your own doing. Here, let me paste this again, maybe this time you'll comprehend what it says:


    Elder Packer clearly stated those that are weak in faith should not read theological pornography. I'm not weak in my faith, plus it clearly states, "should not," NOT forbids. You poor fools who grew up in the church somehow forgot to think for yourselves.

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    1. "You poor fools who grew up in the church somehow forgot to think for yourselves."

      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/5.22?lang=eng
      "but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

      http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=28e1cb7a29c20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=198bf4b13819d110VgnVCM1000003a94610aRCRD

      Explain that after spreading his false teachings in Zarahemla, Korihor attempted to preach the same things among the people in Jershon and Gideon. Unlike the people in Zarahemla, however, these people provided good examples of how we should respond when we are confronted by people like Korihor.

      How did their actions demonstrate that they were “more wise” than the Nephites in Zarahemla? (The people of Zarahemla listened to Korihor’s false teachings; the people of Ammon and the people in Gideon would not.) How can we be wise and use discernment in similar situations?

      How does obeying our Church leaders actually help make us free rather than bring us into bondage, as Korihor claimed?

      Delete
    2. You said "I'm not weak in my faith". "I have actually said in Gospel Doctrine class that I visit sites like this."

      When you said that in Gospel doctrine class, you gave no thought that you might influence members weak in their faith to visit anti-Mormon sites.

      In your pride you think you are immune to the influences of the adversary, and recklessly you make your activities appear acceptable to other ward members. You go against the advice of your highest leaders and then try to justify it to me. It is obvious why you post anonymously.

      Delete
  13. Also tapir rider, I'm talking about a tangible thing, which is what the church teaches and what one experiences from it. You are talking about something that no religion can prove, which is something one must exhibit in faith in, or not.

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    1. I'm talking about you picking and choosing which words of living apostles you choose to apply in your life.

      I have no Idea what you are talking about with a "tangible thing". I think you are deluded into believing that you have the spiritual strength of Alma to stand against Korihor. Maybe you think you are Alma, I have no idea what the voices in your head are telling you.

      What do you have on your face?
      http://i.imgur.com/Bjmi7.jpg

      Delete
  14. tapir rider, you have been so soaked in The Book of Morman that you apparently can't look at a whole picture. I make use of all scriptures, however even more important I allow the Lord to teach me. You still have mud on your face.

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    1. I see the picture just fine. I see a coward that hides in anonymity while going into places that living apostles have advised members to avoid. I see a person that is deluded into thinking he is immune from the dangers that the highest leaders of his church have warned him about. I see a person that unwisely tells a Sunday school class that he visits these places, with no thought how that might influence others to follow his example instead of the words of the apostles. I see a person that is not honest enough to admit his own doubts.

      Delete
  15. tapir rider, It is just eating at you that you do not know who I am. What difference does it make who I am? I don't run from my ward, or my bishop. If they were worried about my leading anyone astray I'm positive they would tell me. Perhaps they don't say anything because when I say I go to the web sites we are "advised," not to go to I say it in conjunction with my testimony for the church and the BofM. In fact people tell me often that they enjoy my comments. They also tell me I say things they hadn't thought of that way before. And as I've said no bishop or church presidency has said anything to me.

    See the difference between you, Dave any anyone born in the church is I started out in being born in "satan," world so to speak. Because I was in my fifties when I converted I've experienced things most people in this church or any churched raised person hasn't experienced. No one needs to warn me of the dangers of Satan, and sin has to offer. I've either been there and done it or witnessed it up close. I know what most people have only seen in movies. Unlike what you try to imply, and what you admit most LDS born people are, I'm not weak minded. I'm not looking for reasons to leave the church, I'm looking at reasons to cement my testimony. People like you and web sites like this never disappoint, it is full of reasons to believe in this church. And the people in the church that hear what I have to say believe what I say.

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    1. I see you are still trying to justify why you can choose not to follow the advise and teachings of your living leaders. Another thing I notice is how you place yourself above those who are born in your church. Your pride is a weakness. That is perhaps why you think you can disregard the words of your apostles.

      Not only do you pick and choose which words of your apostles you will follow, you also choose to ignore the teachings of your Savior.

      You have said "You poor fools who grew up in the church somehow forgot to think for yourselves."

      Jesus taught that his followers should not say such things to their brothers in the Gospel.
      http://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/5.22?lang=eng
      "but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

      You are violating the teachings of the Bible by calling your Mormon brothers "fools". The Book of Mormon clarifies this one even more by removing "without a cause" (3 Nephi 12:22).

      You have no cause to call your Mormon brothers "fools". Even if you had cause, you are not to do it if you follow the Book of Mormon. You call your fellow Mormons "fools" out of anger and that is a sin. You place your convert status above those born in the covenant and that is because of your pride.

      I don't care who you are but I think you are cowardly for coming to someone elses blog and calling them names, pretending to be strong in your faith while you publicly sin (Matthew 5:22) and then hide your identity. You lack the honesty to admit your own doubts.

      I also suspect that your assessment of yourself in the eyes of your ward members is exaggerated and not in agreement with reality. Your ward members probably tolerate you and are too kind hearted to put you in your place.

      Delete
    2. You're a smooth operator, aren't you? Do you come here to judge and condemn to outer darkness? Do you think your piety will somehow make us "see the light"? The greatness of your life experience must outshine everyone elses who was born in the church. Consider this, all the prophets of the last hundred were born into the church. In all your posts, I've only seen a couple of instances where you mention The Lord, or Christ. Everything else is crap like. "I'm better than you because... " and nobody gives a flying fuck. Do you understand that? It is the abundance of people just like you, down to the starry look in your eye when you go re-read your own posts with pride, that reduces any hope for reasonable dialogue to occur. Satan already has his hold on you, even as you chortle the hubris of a defeated soul. Way to go, Pharisee. Are you even capable of internalizing any information presented here? Or is it all just poison to you that must be quelled? Too many questions, I know. Get back to your broken marriage, or more likely, your bottle of lotion.

      Delete
  16. tapir ride, you really do make me laugh. While telling me what I'm doing you are basically doing the exact thing you accuse me of. I haven't put myself above or below others. You are the one that said LDS people are easily led astray and in danger of being led astray by my talking about going to web sites that are negative about the LDS faith. That is why people like you and Dave are so wrong. Because it doesn't matter what someone says, you're going to turn it and twist it in an attempt to make the church and people following the LDS faith as wrong. As I have said before, you chase your own tail. If the church leaders says you are free to think for yourselves you, throw out scriptures and how church official talks, as a reason you can't talk or think for yourselves. If the church advises you to do something or not to do something you brand them as little Hitlers forcing you to do something you don't want to do. The church can't win, even when they try to appease others people still pick everything apart. The church in many ways is too kind to people like you and Dave.

    I've run into people at church that think and act like you and when I run into them I find them very amusing. True members of the church, not just those on the church rolls, but true members are humble, they know that just because they know the scriptures does not mean they have a testimony. They know that living in this world is a continuous learning experience. They don't pull out or quote scriptures to prove a point because their testimony is written in their hearts. They are coming to the truth, and not just forever learning.

    People are not forced or obligated to comment regarding my comments. Unlike your slant on this, I wasn't bragging, I was showing how what I say is not leading anyone astray. I doubt very seriously people are too kind hearted not to say what they think, just saying, "put you in your place," in regards to me is hilarious!

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  17. Oh, and I have a personal relationship with my Lord and Savior and as such your little voice means nothing. You in fact are attempting to do, with your writing, exactly what you accuse the LDS officials as doing. And rather than use the Lol, instead I'm going to tell you, I really am laughing out loud!

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    1. You said "While telling me what I'm doing you are basically doing the exact thing you accuse me of."

      No, I am not. I am not pretending to be a member of your church. I am not a member at all. You are claiming to be a member and then come over here acting like an asshole.

      I have seen you with many different faces and names over many long years. The prideful sense of superiority over the simple minded BIC members that never experienced the sins of the flesh, never drank, never smoked...

      I have heard so many just like you that I cannot even count the numbers of conversations. "You don't know what sin feels like so you have never really been tempted." "You have no idea what I had to give up because you never did those things." "I am stronger than you will ever know because of my experiences". Yes, I have heard this. Your voice is nothing unique or original. I have no idea what the voices of delusion in your own head are telling you, but it is not in agreement with your scriptures.

      I clearly understand the New Testament in Matthew 5:22 and it's parallel in 3 Nephi 12:22.

      You are nothing but a fucking troll coming into a place that your so called apostles, the mouth pieces of your god, have advised you to avoid. You laugh that your disregard for your apostles will be of no consequence to others. You never had to clean up the mess of human lives distrupted in a ward after people just like you wreaked havoc with their influences on decent people.

      Your accusations against Dave and the rest of us who post on his blog are nothing but the rantings of a self righteous, reckless sinner. You are not a voice for your church, you are a horrible representative of the many good individuals that happen to belong to your church.

      Your church sought to excommunicate Dave for daring to write truths about your religion. You will face no censure, no correction, nothing at all for being a belligerent troll on a site that your leaders have advised you against coming to. Some of your ward members might be influenced by your bullshit and get themselves in trouble by following your example. You will deny any part in their behavior and then turn against them for their sins while you call decent people "fools".

      Your church goes after people like Dave for bringing truth into daylight, while your un-Christlike bullshit is ignored.

      I think that your personal relationship with your Savior is all in your head.

      Delete
  18. This is Becky:

    We gotta STAHP! feeding the troll!

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  19. But Becky, I've always read about complete morons who ignore evidences right in front of them, but never actually met one. The more BS he says, the better everyone who views this will know what it means to have a complete shutdown of mental capacity due to exccessive religious tinkering.

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    1. He said we're doing what Dave is accusing the church of doing. I think he actually accused us all of defrauding millions of people out their hard-earned money and living in cush mansions while travelling the world on church members' dimes. Yep, you caught us. And we would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for that meddling Mormon and his pesky self-righteousness.

      Delete
  20. I love it! I've hit a nerve with apparently at least three people. Here, let me throw you a scrap...I'm not a male.

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    1. You flatter yourself. The only nerve you hit is the one by the jackass alert center of the brain. I'm glad you love showing everyone that you have no idea how stupid you are. All we have to do is point and say there SHE is again. So, you find this experience uplifting? We're honored that you find this to be one of the holy places to stand in, where honest come. Your many sins can be absolved here. Let me throw you this little scrap.. . No one cares about your genitalia.

      Delete
  21. Before and after I had my child I attended mainstream Christian churches. (What was more commonly known as Baptist churches.) Back then I’d talk to people that I thought were weird and/or stupid. In fact I thought of them as Jesus freaks, because they talked about having the spirit and loving others. To me it was weird, strange. In fact I thought they were suckers waiting for the picking, so to speak. Because they seemed so at ease though and so relaxed and because I wanted my daughter to believe in a higher power I went to church. I had went as a child off and on and as I said, in my family there are ministers and deacons etc. At that time I didn’t know about the light of Christ and that everyone has it. I didn’t know that if you have the light of Christ you can access the spirit, so to speak.
    Since converting I’ve found I’ve become that person that I’ve seen in others, in fact even more so. I originally looked at this website because of something that was said about Romney. In fact I’m guessing Dave has had his fifteen minutes of fame, since Romney didn’t win the election. Several people have posted links on this blog that been very interesting and as I have said, the links have helped my testimony for this church. I look at this way, if I’m right about this church when I die I go to a nice place, or a super nice place. If I’m wrong, and there is only one Heaven, according to the Baptist teaching I’m going to a good place when I die. And if I’m wrong altogether it won’t matter but I’ve lost nothing in this life. On the other hand……you folks????

    You are right it doesn’t matter what my genitalia is, I just found it interesting that the assumption was that I’m a male. Oh and matejoh, it is very telling that I really must have hit a raw nerve with you.... ;o)

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    1. A "conversion" with you is like watching Michael Jackson accept his birthday present thinking it was a lifetime achievement award, equal parts disgusting, entertaining, and pathetic.

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  22. To any MT critic. Show us what is factually incorrect at Mormonthink. If you can't, and all you can point out is that we don't feel or spin the facts to favor the LDS church, you're playing a game.

    Facts aren't spin.

    Show us what on MT isn't factual. If you can't then stop playing your spin here.

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  23. I, for one, appreciate the straight and factual presentation of MT. Which is why I return on a regular basis. As for this blog, I enjoy it for the same reasons. Furthermore, I appreciate the comments after the postings.

    But, honestly, Anonymous has made her point. And then some. She thinks she is unique in her stance but she is not. For this to continue doesn't contribute to anything intelligent about Dave's blog or add anything valuable to the discussion anymore.

    Kudos to Dave for allowing free speech here.

    I think what we are learning here is that arguing cult status cant be establish through content. Rather, its dynamics. There are several websites that outline the 8 (give or take a few, depending on which you consult) points of what makes a cult. I am not sure what the rules are in posting links, so I wont for now. MT deals with content/facts, which results in the circular arguments we are encountering here.

    Becky

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  24. Dear, dear Becky, apparently you believe there is only your's and Daves truth and someone doesn't believe in your truth then that person is not on your intellectual level. In fact that seems to be the way Dave and all of his cult fans think as well.

    Dave claims he is only posting the truth about the LDS faith. However, he spins his version of the church. I know there are a many people of the LDS faith that would totally disagree with Dave and they do have their own experts to support the LDS belief. In fact there are blogs that are pro LDS faith. I'm sure there are people against the LDS faith that are posting on those sites as to why they feel the LDS faith is wrong.

    Not one of you have said why you feel compelled to post and have blogs telling people what is wrong what the LDS faith. Why don't you just go on about your lives? I left the Baptist churches however in doing so I have never had a need to tell everyone how wrong I think they are.

    Also, not one of you have said what would be the purpose in Joseph Smith writing the BofM. It is in agreement with the Bible, so to what purpose would he write it?

    @matejoh, I'm guessing you like picking at scabs too? ;o)

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    1. " In fact that seems to be the way Dave and all of his cult fans think as well. "

      Did I just get elevated to cult-leader rank?

      Thank you.

      Now, dave-cult followers, listen and heed my commands:

      Go forth and preach nothing to nobody. Be excellent to each other and party on dudes!

      Delete


  25. http://www.howcultswork.com/

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  26. Did you seriously just post what you have posted before? Here, this will help you with how to determine what a cult is:

    http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_cult.shtml

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  27. Oh, and for anyone interested in why Dave and his cult following is so far off base, this entire site has a TON of information that will help you:

    http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_cult.shtml

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  28. Awesome park snap..Beautiful ..Heaven ..

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  29. Just posting in an epic thread.

    I was going to post some comment about how I didn't realize David Twede had started a blog since MormonThink and how this post was exciting to read because I look forward to a time when the church's shady practices see the light of day.

    But then I read this whole thread, and...holy avoiding the issue, Batman! This should be the centerpiece of this discussion, but for some reason (and I think many of us know the reason) it's being ignored:

    "To any MT critic. Show us what is factually incorrect at Mormonthink. If you can't, and all you can point out is that we don't feel or spin the facts to favor the LDS church, you're playing a game."

    I'm now calling this Dave's Exhortation.

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  30. I am a Roman Catholic Priest and have been for over 25 years. I was also a monk in a monastery for 15 years. When I was in high school in the 1970s, I almost became LDS. That is until I met a Roman Catholic nun who was a convert from LDS. Her family was in the First Presidency and she entered a cloistered order in Salt Lake City (cloistered nuns do not leave the monastery and spend their time in prayer seven times a day. She was disowned by her family and is now deceased). But she felt that she found the fullness of truth in the Roman Catholic Church). In my conversations with her, she explained to me something that the missionaries did not tell me.

    Namely what LDS truly believe about God and the Blessed Virgin Mary and the conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ (what most Christians call the Virgin Birth). When Mormons speak of Jesus being conceived after the "manner of men" they are not talking about the Annunciation when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that the Holy Spirit would come over her and she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather, apparently, LDS believe that God the Father actually impregnated the Virgin Mary in the "manner of men." Brigham Young wrote about this and taught this. Mormons believe this to this very day.

    There were many other things that the good Sister informed me about. When I confronted the Missionaries about this and other teachings, they affirmed that the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS did believe these things but that I shouldn't let it detract me from joining.

    I could not join, I refused to be baptized, and I ended up entering the Roman Catholic Seminary and becoming a Catholic Priest. When I know that families in my own parish are being visited by Missionaries, I share my experience with them and many of them are appalled that they are not informed by the Missionaries about these and other teachings. Fortunately many decide to stop seeing the Missionaries.

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  31. As long as CoJCoLDS is being mentioned in the same paragraph as the word "Criminal"--I just learned that Jeff Ricks at Post Mormon is collecting names of people who would like to be involved in a class action lawsuit against the LDS church.

    I am not privy to the language in the lawsuit, but am in the process of finding out.
    I learned this from Kay Burningham who wrote "Mormonism: An American Fraud."

    I also find it encouraging that Belgium is suing Scientology for fraud.http://tonyortega.org/2012/12/28/belgium-prosecuting-scientology-as-a-criminal-organization/

    Please remember, you cannot prove a cult by pointing out the content of its beliefs. Otherwise, anyone who believes differently than you can be called a cult. Which is how the Lindsay explanation tries to mislead the reader. Rather, cult status is proven according to HOW the religion operates.

    If a person were to lie, misrepresent facts, not operate transparently, establish sepremacy over another, etc, that person could be sued for fraud, extortion and undue influence. An organization should be no different, even if that organization happens to call itself a church.

    Becky

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  32. @ Anonymous [Catholic Priest]: That's a very interesting story! I read the brief story of a woman raised LDS who became a leader in Kriya Yoga in The Autobiography of a Yogi.

    @ Anonymous [Former Baptist]: You are painted a broad brush with your comments. As an ex-Mormon I am not part of any sort of MT- or Dave-cult. Actually, Dave's attitude in these blog posts often rubs me the wrong way (as does the attitude of some of the commenters). However, the crux of the issue is that MT offers facts, and I appreciate the informative value of those facts. Yes, Dave "spins" those facts, just as any other person who makes any sort of conclusion about a set of facts. You "spin" the facts according to your views. It's impossible for us humans not to. The important point, that Dave has made a couple of times, is, "Please show what is unfactual on MT." I have yet to find something.

    To answer your question, "Why do ex-Mormons blog about and discuss the LDS Church?" There are many reasons. For me, it's part of the process of reformatting my worldview after it came crashing down on me a year and a half ago. And as many people have pointed out before--there is a difference between criticising the organisation of the Church and criticising members for believing. I hope that I never criticise members for believing.

    Anyways, thanks for posting your views! I appreciate hearing another perspective.

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    1. I apologize for my rude and inappropriate comments. I allowed family problems to stress me out this week to the point where I released that stress here. It won't happen again.

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  33. "Namely what LDS truly believe about God and the Blessed Virgin Mary and the conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ (what most Christians call the Virgin Birth). When Mormons speak of Jesus being conceived after the "manner of men" they are not talking about the Annunciation when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that the Holy Spirit would come over her and she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather, apparently, LDS believe that God the Father actually impregnated the Virgin Mary in the "manner of men." Brigham Young wrote about this and taught this. Mormons believe this to this very day."

    I've read something about this on other blogs while I was investigating the church, prior to my converting. Since converting I've not heard anything about this from those inside the church. What I want to know is why anyone would find this so abhorrent. On the one hand Mormon's are castigated for telling their children to remain an virgin until they are married, and to not even masterbate, and then on the other hand if they even mention that Jesus could have been conceived by having sex, everyone is all a twitter. Why would this upset anyone? No doubt if this really did happen this way, the people that wrote the Bible probably felt everyone wouldn't want to hear that Jesus was conceived in a human way, so they would have changed it in teh scriptures.

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  34. If people believe the Bible, like the Catholic poster, then explain why it was alright for Adam's and Eve's children to commit incest with one another to populate the Earth. So incest is acceptable in this instance. Hhmmm And explain when Cain fled after killing Abel Cain asked God for protection from other beings where he was headed to to escape his parents. So who were the other beings and where did they come from if Adam and Eve were the only people on Earth until their children committed incest.

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