Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Suspend the LDS Leadership Succession Rules Immediately

I know that nobody in Church Leadership cares about my opinion, but as an active, tithe paying member I say that.....


Romney is qualified, faithful and would give the church positive exposure.  It would be a win, win for everyone but Bednar.  If the Law of Common Consent is really a thing, can "we" as a united membership, nominate him?   

Friday, December 15, 2017

10 Questions about the Baptism for the Dead Rules



10 Questions to Consider:


#1. Why can't young women be witnesses?  Untrustworthy?

#2.  Why is it that boys need to be 16 to baptize but girls only need to be 12 to pass out towels?

#3.  If no adults are needed, doesn't that make the baptistery a teen pool party?

#4. Was this a revelation, if so, who received it?

#5. If President Monson didn't receive the revelation, who is authorized to speak for the entire church?

#6. Does this change the rule about youth driving other youth to the temple?

#7. Does this mean that Young Women's leaders don't even need to go on temple trips?

#8. Will the jumpsuits worn by the girls be made thicker?

#9. Does this warrant an addition to the Doctrine and Covenants?

#10. Can you imagine this conversation in 1000 years?

Jesus, "Edith, why aren't you coming into Heaven?"

Edith, "I've been waiting for my temple work to be done."

Jesus, "There must be some mix up, let me check on it."

several hours later....

Jesus, "They did your baptism in 2018, but all the witness and recorders were distracted by the 14 year old girl in a thin white jumpsuit that was your proxy and they didn't notice that a couple of hairs on her head didn't get submerged.  It got flagged in Heaven, but on earth it was recorded as done.  So sorry!"

Edith, "So I've been waiting in Spirit Prison for 1000 years because horny teens screwed up?"

Jesus, "Um, yes."




Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Clarifying and questioning teen suicide numbers....

I was just doing the math to clarify the suicide stats and now I'm wondering if they are in fact correct.

The article being shared says that the rate of suicides is 11.1 per 100,000 for youth between 10 and 17.

According to the census there are 354,129 people in Utah between 10 and 17.

354,129 / 100,000 is 3.54.  3.54 times 11.1 is 39.2. 

So according to my math there were 39 or 40 suicides / year. 

Do these numbers seem low?  

Obviously one suicide is horrible, but I think those numbers are sadly low.

Your thoughts?


Ogden Standard Article

Momma Dragons

Youth Suicide Factsheet

Utah Age Demographics

Suicide Hotline Numbers




Saturday, December 2, 2017

Running with plates

#4 Smith Running with 100 pounds of Golden Plates

Myth Summary:  Joseph Smith received revelation through his seer stone that someone was going to steal the Golden Plates.  He took them from this hiding place and carried them three miles through the forest while fighting off men hiding there.
Why it is wrong:  This is another unsubstantiated story based only on the testimony of Joseph Smith.  Gold plates would weigh somewhere between 50 and 200 pounds.  Joseph walked with a limp.  Running three miles like that would be impossible.  It is also strange that in the path through the woods that Joseph chose, he would happen upon three men hiding there in the unlikely chance that he would run by.
Links and additional details found here

Hauns' Hill Massacre

 Hauns' Hill Massacre

Story Summary:  The lesson quotes Joseph Smith saying, "At Hauns' Mill the brethren went contrary to my counsel; if they had not, their lives would have been spared".  It gives no further commentary on the reasons why they died. 
Why it is Wrong:  Blaming the victims for their own brutal deaths is horrible here.  There are lots of reasons for the Hauns' Mill Massacre.  The first group to blame is the brutal thugs who committed the crime.  Unfortunately Smith's quote blames the victims and teaches the children that Joseph Smith had no responsibility for the brutal killings that took place.  The reality is that if Joseph warned anyone it was mill owner Haun who was not a member of the church.
It is important to note that Joseph Smith had promised through a revelation from God that Zion would be created in Jackson, County Missouri.  It would be a place of peace.  He also promised that God would fight their battles for them and be by their side.  None of that happened. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sweetwater River Crossing

http://brycox.com/lds/BryCox-SweetwaterRescue.pdf

https://chadlawrencenielsen.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/handcart-myth-and-fact/


Monday, November 27, 2017

Joseph Smith Can Heal Malaria

The Primary Lesson make is very clear that Joseph Smith has the miraculous power to cure malaria.  This post is not questioning that.  The problem is that the lesson makes no mention of the fact that at least 175 people died of malaria in Nauvoo between 

Part of the story in the lesson says, " ‘Brother Fordham, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from this bed and be made whole.’ His voice was like the voice of God, and not of man. It seemed as though the house shook to its very foundations."

BYU Studies - Article - Deaths in Early Nauvoo

From the BYU Study:  "Malaria was the most common cause of death in Nauvoo. Since Nauvoo was a swamp before the Saints arrived, it was undoubtedly a haven for mosquitoes."

"There was an average of about 40 recorded deaths each year from Malaria"


Cause

Deaths

Age​

Mean Age​

July–Dec​.

Pct. Male​

Malaria
175
1 mo. to 81 yrs.
28 years
98%
59%
Diarrhea
166
10 days to 86 yrs.
21 years
93%
49%
Tuberculosis
101
1 mo. to 71 yrs.
24 years
38%
48%
Canker (Noma)
93
18 days to 66 yrs.
17 months
88%
49%
Measles
41
1 mo. to 45 yrs.
18 months
73%
56%




Other Sources



Entire quote from the manual:

The Saints Do the Lord’s Work

The Saints did the Lord’s work by helping others, and in return the Lord helped the people of Nauvoo. When the Saints first came to Nauvoo, the land was very swampy. The Saints did not know that the mosquitoes that thrived in the swamplands spread a dangerous disease called malaria. Many of the Saints came down with this disease, which caused severe chills and fever. Emma Smith nursed many people, and her six-year-old son helped her by carrying water for the sick until he also came down with malaria. Even the Prophet was sick. The Lord blessed the people, however, giving the Prophet the ability to heal them. Wilford Woodruff reported what happened when a group of priesthood holders led by Joseph Smith visited the home of one sick man:
“The next place they visited was the home of Elijah Fordham, who was supposed to be about breathing his last. When the company entered the room the Prophet of God walked up to the dying man, and took hold of his right hand and spoke to him; but Brother Fordham was unable to speak, his eyes were set in his head like glass, and he seemed entirely unconscious of all around him. Joseph held his hand and looked into his eyes in silence for a length of time. A change in the countenance of Brother Fordham was soon perceptible to all present. His sight returned, and upon Joseph asking him if he knew him, he, in a low whisper, answered, ‘Yes.’ Joseph asked him if he had faith to be healed. He answered, ‘I fear it is too late; if you had come sooner I think I would have been healed.’ The Prophet said, ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ?’ He answered in a feeble voice, ‘I do.’ Joseph then stood erect, still holding his hand in silence several moments; then he spoke in a very loud voice, saying: ‘Brother Fordham, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to arise from this bed and be made whole.’ His voice was like the voice of God, and not of man. It seemed as though the house shook to its very foundations. Brother Fordham arose from his bed and was immediately made whole. His feet were bound in [bandages], which he kicked off, then putting on his clothes, he ate a bowl of bread and milk, and followed the Prophet into the street” (quoted in Joseph Fielding Smith, Essentials in Church History,pp. 223–24).


Whistling and Whittling Brigade



http://www.mormonthink.com/glossary/whistlers.htm

https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=6141&context=etd

From Lesson:

"Children also helped build Nauvoo. If they were old enough, they helped take care of the animals and the farms, gathered wood and berries, and helped make cider, soap, and candles. They also went to school. One group of young boys helped in a unique way. Many criminals came to Nauvoo, and the Saints did not want these people in their city but did not want to use violent means to get rid of them. A group of boys was organized into a “whistling and whittling brigade.” Whenever the boys saw a suspicious stranger on the street, they would surround him and walk along with him. They would not speak, but would just whistle and whittle as they followed the stranger wherever he went. It would be annoying and frustrating to the stranger, but he could not fight all the boys at once, so he would soon leave town."


Lesson 33 - Group of boys has a whistling and whittling brigade to help watch for bad people.  
The lesson uses the words "young boys" and "children".  The reality is that the brigade were older teens and not children.  The impression the article gives is of primary children, but in reality they were full grown young men.  Think of a high school varsity football team following you around with bowie knives.
http://www.mormonthink.com/glossary/whistlers.htm

http://www.ldsliving.com/Doctrine-and-Covenants-and-Church-History-Lesson-28-O-God-Where-Art-Thou/s/84924

William McLellin Revelation

https://dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V26N04_41.pdf

During the last 162 years, rather than explore the theological implications of D&C 67, some church leaders developed an elaborate mythology describing the November 1831 conference. This interpretation explained to faithful the nature of apostasy and apostates. Significantly, the story of McLellin is typical of a genre which correlates dissent with biblical figures such as Satan, Cain, and Judas or with Book of Mormon characters such as Nehor and Korihor. The McLellin story establishes a paradigm from which an intellectual's dissatisfaction with the church or church leadership can be understood and rationalized by Mormon membership. One who questions, indeed, has "more learning than sense" and is a potential candidate for apostasy

Ultimately, only truth will set us free.

http://emp.byui.edu/satterfieldb/rel341/D&C%2066.html

Dialogue Article

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Willard Richards "Prophecy"

Lesson # 37 of the Church History Primary Manual has the following quote:

"Elder Richards had not been injured in the attack. This miracle fulfilled a prophecy made a year earlier by Joseph Smith, who had told Elder Richards that there would be a time when “the balls [bullets] would fly around him like hail, and he should see his friends fall on the right and on the left,” but he would not be hurt. (History of the Church, 6:619).

willard_richards (1)

The Primary Manual quotes only the bold words from  The History of the Church. The other words from the Primary Manual are unquoted and paraphrased.   The most unfortunate part of this story is there probably was no such prophecy, but we'll get to that part later.


The manual has a pointless error.

Willard Richards was hurt.  The same paragraph the manual quotes also says, "yet he stood unscathed, with the exception of a ball which grazed the tip end of the lower part of his left ear." 
joseph_smith_martyrdom

The actual quote is:  "the time would come that the balls would fly around him like hail, and he should see his friends fall on the right and on the left, but that there should not be a hole in his garment."  


So why did the manual writers change the quote?  Most likely because they were trying to cover for Brigham Young's quotation of the prophecy that said, "and there never shall a ball injure you."  Not quite what happened.

Now the important point.

There is no evidence that Joseph Smith ever gave Willard Richards such a promise .  Richards didn't say it in any account of the assassination nor in any known talk, letter or writing.  Joseph Smith's journal doesn't mention the story nor any account while Smith was alive.  

The story was never told before Richards death in 1854.   There seems to be an attempt to create fulfilled prophecies AFTER the FACT.   So where did the "prophecy" come from? The History of the Church had multiple editors and writers.  Willard Richards was one of the editors.  It is unknown who added the story of the prophecy into the work.  It may have been Richards or any other of the editors, including Brigham Young who got the final say on the history book.

So why is it a big deal?  

The first problem is fact checking. Don't make up quotes !!  

Second, don't call a manual, "Church History" unless it is verifiable.  A third hand quote isn't good enough to put in a book for children.    


The lesson in the manual is about the Death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.   There are lots of verifiable accounts related the their death, there is no need to use fabricated stories.

See the following from  Dean Jessee's and Howard Searle's work on Joseph Smith's history we know that its reliability is questionable. "The sheer number of scribes, inadequate contemporary source material, many authors, breaks in actual writing all point to a document that must be seriously evaluated before basing conclusions about the past."

 See Dean Jessee's "The Reliability of Joseph Smith's History," Journal of Mormon History 3 (1976): 23-46; and Howard Searle, "Early Mormon Historiography: Writing the History of the Mormons, 1830-1858," Ph.D diss., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 1979.