Sunday, November 18, 2018

Titanic Warning - Missed Opportunity

Mormon Church - Titanic
April 1912 Timeline
Wednesday April 3rd - 
     The Titanic Arrives in Southampton.

Thursday April 4th -
     Crew, cooks and employees begin to fill the ship.

Friday April 5th - (Gen. Conference)
     Supplies, foodstuffs and freight is loaded.
     LDS Prophet Joseph F. Smith talks about tithing and the enemies of the church.

Saturday April 6th - (Gen. Conference)
    Beds are made and freight continues to be loaded.
    President Smith spoke about his uncle Joseph Smith

Sunday April 7th -  (Gen. Conference)
     Titanic launch preparations continue.
     Prophet of God speaks about missionary work.

Monday April 8th - 
     Titanic food preparations begin. 
      LDS Leaders meet briefly to discuss attendance rest. 

Tuesday April 9th - 
      Final touches on put on the ship, 20 lifeboats in place. 
      74 year old President  Joseph F. Smith attends temple works in his office.

Wednesday April 10th - 
     The Titanic sets sail from Southampton England
     Joseph F. Smith silent

Tuesday April 11th - 
     The Titanic leaves Ireland, the last chance for a warning by telegraph.
     Prophet, Seer and Revelator Smith is silent.

Monday April 15th -
     The Titanic Sinks  in the Atlantic Ocean.  More than 1500 people die, Including President Joseph F. Smith's Irene Corbett cousin. 
     Word arrives in Salt Lake City by telegraph the same day.

Wednesday April 17th -
     LDS Church leaders meet to discuss tragedy.  No public statement is made. 

Thursday April 18th - 
Carpathia brings first survivors into New York City


BYU Article on Mormons and the Titanic

Saturday, May 19, 2018

How is myth is made....

How a Myth is Made...

Elder Thomas S. Monson from 1977

In the vicinity where I lived and served, we operated a poultry project. Most of the time it was an efficiently operated project supplying to the storehouse thousands of dozens of fresh eggs and hundreds of pounds of dressed poultry. 

General Conference - 1977

Deseret News - 2008

The Ensign - 2014

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland from 1986

Many may know that young Bishop Monson took a week of his personal vacation time every Christmas season to visit all of those eighty-five widows in his ward. Many may not know that for the first several years the gift he would take them was one of the Barred Plymouth Rock or Rhode Island Red hens raised and dressed out by him in his own poultry coops. And although it has been more than thirty years since he was released as their bishop, President Monson has taken a gift and visited every one of those widows every Christmas for as long as each has lived

The Ensign - 1986

In 1994 Jeffery R. Holland version Jeffery Holland added two widows and add the fact that Monson left gifts purchase from his own pocket. 

"Nearly all of those eighty-seven widows are gone now, but their “bishop” kept visiting them to the end. One night during the Christmas holidays some years ago, President Monson was making his customary rounds to “his” widows, leaving gifts purchased from his own pocket, including plump dressed chickens that were, in the early years, raised in his own coops."

The Ensign - 1994

See Also:  Did Thomas Monson really speak at All 85 Widow's Funerals

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How Long Does it Take to Kill, Skin and Cook a Rabbit ?

Two questions to think about before reading this story:

1. How long does it take to kill, skin and cook a rabbit by somebody who has never done it?

2. Does the family below look like they have never tasted chicken?

 Thomas S. Monson told this story on several occasions:

"One year, the home was buzzing with Thanksgiving preparations when Charlie Renshaw, a friend from over the back fence, stood outside, as was the custom of these young friends, and hollered, “Tom-my!”
.... “It sure smells good in there. What are you eating?”
Tommy told him it was turkey, and Charlie asked what turkey tasted like.
Tom responded, “Oh, about like chicken,” to which Charlie asked, “What does chicken taste like?”
Tom ran into the kitchen, snatched a piece of breast meat, and handed it to his friend. “That’s good!” the boy said.
When Tom asked what Charlie’s family was having for dinner, the answer was, “I dunno. There’s nothing in the house.”
Tom pondered. He knew his mother always found something to feed those who came to the door. He had no extra turkeys, chickens, or money. But he did have two pet rabbits, a male and female, the pride of his life, beautiful New Zealand whites. He motioned to his friend and headed for the specially constructed rabbit hutch built by one of his uncles. He reached in and grabbed his two pet rabbits, put them in a gunnysack, and handed the bag to Charlie.
“Rabbit meat tastes better than chicken,” Tom said. “Their hide makes really good knuckle pads when you are playing marbles. You know, you can sell the hides for a quarter each over at the hide company. These two rabbits will give your family a good dinner.”
Charlie was on the fence—the boys used the fences like sidewalks in his neighborhood—and heading for his yard before Tom could close the door to his empty rabbit hutch. He realized he had given all he had. He had met someone else’s need and did not regret it. The pattern was in place: “I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat. . . . Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
His life has continued to be a tangible expression of the Lord’s words.”
He gave his 2 pet rabbits to a neighborhood friend who’s family was not going to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.
More questions to think about this story:
1. Wouldn't Tommy's mother have just invited the family to dinner?
2. How many people would be willing to kill a rabbit?  
3. Do you think the Renshaw mother would have talked to Tommy's mom before butchering the rabbit? 
4. How long would it take to kill, skin and cook a rabbit?  

Random Links and Notes:

Mormon Hub

1986 Ensign Article - Jeffery Holland

When young Tom learned a family of one of his friends planned to eat cereal moistened with hot water for Christmas dinner, he invited his friend to his backyard. He then took his two pet rabbits out of their hutch and gave them to his friend for Christmas dinner for his family. Memories of Christmas

Monson Written in Ensign Dec - 1995

Wheat and Tares - Obituary

LDS Living

Many Latter-day Saints have heard President Monson tell a Christmas story about his own toy train, and giving a train car to a less-fortunate friend in the neighborhood. Another Christmas story he wrote about involved two rabbits that he gave to a friend who — when asked what his family was having for Christmas dinner — said he didn't know, and had never tasted chicken or turkey.
He later wrote that he shed tears as he put two of his own rabbits in a bag for his friend, "but there was a warm feeling in my heart (later) ... when he told me this was the best Christmas dinner he and his family had ever had." Ensign, December 1995

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Sweetwater Rescue Myth

The Mormon Church has stretched the truth so much that it calls into question, every story they have ever told.  

There are 100's of examples:

Here is one.....

From the current Primary Manual #5 - Church History:
        "Then three eighteen-year-old boys from the relief party came to their rescue. George W. Grant, David P. Kimball, and C. Allen Huntington plunged into the icy water and began carrying people across the river. They made many trips and carried almost the entire company across. 
        The cold water caused health problems for the boys, and years later all three died from these health problems. When President Brigham Young heard what these three boys had done, he wept. He later said that this act alone would ensure the three young men places in the celestial kingdom."

Since at least 2006 the LDS Church has known that the basic facts of the story are false:

a. None of the young men were 18 years old.
b. There is little evidence that any of the men died as a result of the act. 
c. Brigham Young has no right or knowledge if they earned their places in the Celestial Kingdom.  
d. There were more than three rescuers.

The true story just isn't good enough!
The reality is that there was a rescue, people did carry others across, the handcart pioneers were really brave and suffered horribly.  Unfortunately, that isn't good enough for the LDS Church.  It has to make a story even bigger, more miraculous and make their leaders look really great.

So why does the church continue to present folklore as fact?

a. Because they've lied for so long.
b. Because it will prove that their leaders have no power of discernment.
c. Because it shows that their lesson manuals are not inspired.
d. Because they would have to correct the church record going back generations.
e. Because they will NOT apologize.
f. Because they would have to re-translate 100's of church manuals and talks.  

Further Reading:
Bry Cox Article
BYU Article - Chad Orton
BYU-I Article - The Problems with Hollywood Style Storytelling
Chad's Musings - Handcart Myths
Mormon Studies Roundtable
Juvenile Instructor

A sample of places on where the false story is still repeated:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Changes in the Emma Smith Revelation....

Joseph Smith's Elect Lady Revelation 
becomes more strict over time.  

July 1830:
Joseph Smith received a revelation of comfort for Emma.  The original document has been lost.  It was at a time when Joseph was in serious legal trouble.  

Spring of 1831:  
Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer are assigned to record Joseph Smith's revelations.  The documents are copied into a book called "The Revelation Book".  Below is a scan of their handwriting.  The revelation to Emma is called "27th Commandment".  

(Highlighting is digital) 

July 20, 1833

A group of four to five hundred Missouri vigilantes stormed the Church's printing office in Independence and destroyed or confiscated much of the contents.  The text below is from one of the few books that was made from rescued manuscripts.  There are minor changes made from the 1831 version.  

About 1833 - 1835
A teenage girl named Fanny Alger is hired to live and work in the Smith home.  She helps with Emma with the children, cleaning and cooking.  At some point she starts a relationship with Joseph Smith.  

November 1835
The book called the Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1835 in Kirtland, Ohio.  The Emma Smith revelation was put in Section 48.   A conditional clause is added to Emma's revelation.   In the 1831 version, Emma was called and "Elect Lady", but in the 1835 version it is given "IF THOU ART FAITHFUL and WALK IN THE PATHS OF VIRTUE".

Why would a conditional clause be added?

Is it possible that Emma had begun to grow weary with Joseph's polygamy / adultery?  Would this IF statement put greater pressure on Emma to accept Fanny Alger and the relationship she had with Joseph?

March 27, 1836
For context, be aware that the Kirtland Temple was dedicated after this revelation came out.  At that time, Joseph received the "Sealing Power" from an angel.  

July 12, 1843

Section 132 is recorded.  This section puts even more pressure on Emma Smith to conform.  Saying that she might be "destroyed".  

"and let mine handmaid Emma Smith receive all those that have been given unto my Servent Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; And those who are not pure <​and have Said they ware pure​> Shall be destroyed"

The Emma Smith revelation is now found in Doctrine and Covenants 25 in the present Utah - LDS Scripture.  

Link to Doctrine and Covenants 25

More to think about:
It is also worth noting that the source of the revelation changes between 1830 and 1835.  In the 1830 version,  Emma is called, "My Daughter in Zion", but in the 1835 version she is addressed saying,  "Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter; "

Additional Reading 

BYU Article

FairMormon Article on Fannie Alger

Patheos Article

Mormon Think

The Revelations Books

Book of Commandments at Joseph Smith Papers

Young women saving the papers of the Book of Commandments. 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Controlling by FEAR

The Mormon Church has perfected the doctrine of fear.  

Fear of Causing Suffering of Others.  (If you don't do Family History / Temple work, your dead family members are suffering in spirit prison for 100's of years.)

Fear of Death. (If you forget to pray before leaving the house, or drink coffee or eat out on Sunday)

Fear of Shunning, (If you wear the wrong cloths, say the wrong thing, express doubt, don't serve a mission)

Fear of Eternal Suffering, (If you have even sinned once and haven't repented)

Fear of loss of Family, (If they go to Celestial Kingdom and you don't)

Fear of Loss of Blessings, (If you fail to pay tithing or read you scriptures or pray or do Home Teaching)

Fear of Financial Ruin, (If you don't pay 100 percent tithing or do your calling)

Fear of Judgement, (By God, by bishop, by people in class, by neighbors)

Fear of Embarrassment, (If your house, car, kids, lesson, talk isn't perfect)

Fear of the Second Coming, (Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, death torture)

Fear of Damnation (If you tell secret temple handshakes, or oaths)

No wonder Mormons have some of the highest depression rates in the world.  Everything we do is motivated by fear.  

It is cruel and yet effective.  I wonder how many Mormon's attend Church and pay tithing only out of fear.  I would say most.  This defines a cult.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Bingo of Mormon Historical and Doctrinal Issues

Paul H. Dunn told lies for years that went unnoticed by the "Prophets, Seers and Revelators" who were supposedly speaking to God.  
Several books and documents show evidence that Smith really couldn't translate. 
Even with several health benefits, coffee will prevent a parent from seeing a child's marriage or participating in church.  
100 Percent of the Prophets and Apostles have been white.  
Depression and suicide are unfortunate results of the expectation to be perfect.  
Women have been traded, abused, mocked and ignored throughout LDS history.  
Old men ask young boys and girls sexual questions behind closed doors.  
Mormons still claim a universal flood and a God that commits genocide.
Joseph Smith sent men on missions and had sex with their wives.
For 2500 years the Golden Plates were supposedly created, engraved and saved from destruction and yet Smith wrote the Book of Mormon by looking into a hat.
Visits by God, Jesus and various angels have been made up years after the fact to support a narrative that the Mormon Church is special.
The Book of Mormon story is continually disproved by a mountain DNA evidence as well as a lack of archaeology.
Knowing these truths will truly set you free.  
Doctrines related to LGBTQ members demonstrate an uninformed and cruel leadership.
Ignored when convenient, embraced when supportive.  
Billions spend on luxury while children starve and suffer.  
Old men having sex with teenage girls and claiming that God commanded it. 
Church leadership is out of touch with most of humanity.  
Making up excuses for serious anachronisms in the Book of Mormon. 
Joseph Smith stalked and raped young girls and married women.  
The Church will not admit the evil and abuse this doctrine is still causing.
Brigham Young's lies, abuse and oppression are insidious. 
LDS doctrine and scriptures are still filled with racism today.  
Billions of dollars and millions of hours are spent doing rituals that help nobody.  
Handshakes:  Secret handshakes, costumes, oaths and chants show the Mormon Church is really a cult.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rev. Billy Graham Fought to end racism in 1957

The Reverend Billy Graham died this week.  I was amazed that in the 1950's he was fighting to end racism.

I was also embarrassed to realize that Mr. Graham did that more than 20 years before the LDS Church ended it's racist temple and priesthood doctrines.

Pretty sad for the "One True Church" to be 20 years behind in this social issue.

King and Graham

The LDS Church did not end its Temple and Priesthood ban on "People of African" decent until 1978 and still has racist statements in all of their scriptures. 

Billy Graham's Quotes on Racism

LDS Essay on Race

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Did Thomas S. Monson Really Speak at Every one of "His 85 Widow's" Funerals?

Following the death of President Thomas S. Monson, I read several obituary articles and blog posts that mentioned that he had attended ALL 85 funerals of the widows who had been in his ward when he was a Bishop.

Deseret News Article

They all cited an Article that says, 

“Although his Church callings and responsibilities over the years have often taken him on the road for weeks at a time, President Monson made it to every funeral of his widows and spoke as he had promised them he would. “.

The article gives no reference for this comment. I’m curious about the origin of this story. 

Did President Monson ever claim to have attended and spoke at EVERY funeral? 

Did none of the women pass away while he was serving as mission president? 

Did he actually SPEAK at every funeral? 

It seems like subsequent Bishops might have spoken instead. 

While he was away on assignment in Europe for months at a time as an Apostle were there no funerals?

Many of the widows were from World War II soldiers.  That would mean the women could have been about his age.   Are some still alive ? 

Edit:  I have spend some more time researching this topic.  In her 2010 book, To the Rescue, Heidi S. Swinton says on page 142, 

" He promised to speak at their funerals - All  Eighty-five - and he made it to everyone, though he sometimes had to slip out of a meeting or fit the service in between general conference sessions."

I contacted the LDS Church History Library and they said the following:  

Thank you for your inquiry. President Monson himself talked about this. It is written in his biography To the Rescue, written by Heidi S. Swinton on page 142. The page is attached.

I hope this helps.

Link to Ensign Article

Well no, Church History Library people, a Biography is not the same as an Autobiography, and the biography you cite does not quote President Monson, it states an unverified story.  

Further Edit:  The more I research here the more I feel like it is another case of story embellishment.  I think it may be related to this talk by Jefferey R. Holland from 1986.

"Furthermore, these sweet folks never seem to die until Brother Monson is back in town from his many assignments, enabling him to speak at their funerals. Perhaps no one in the present leadership of the Church has spoken at so many funerals—he once had three services in one day."

Although this quote by President Holland doesn't specifically say he spoke at Every Single funeral, I can see how the Monson Biographer might have taken it to mean that.  Of course this quote was from 1986.  More than 30 years before President Monson's death.  

A TIMELINE of President Monson's Death that might help clarify.  

Born:  1927
Called to be a Bishop: 1949.
Called to be a Mission President:  1959 - 1962.

Let's make a rough assumption that when he became a Bishop in 1949, his 85 widows had an average age of 70. That would mean that while he was on his mission for three years they averaged in age from 79 to 82.  Does my logic make sense?  So during the three years he was on his mission, not one widow died?  

Scan from Biography of Thomas S. Monson:

Talk by Thomas S. Monson in 1981 where he talks about visiting widows.

LDS Newsroom Article about President Monson

Article about being Mission President in Canada Biography of Thomas S. Monson quoting book several times. 

Monson by the Numbers

Bishop from May 7, 1950, until June 1955

Monson Press release  ( 84 widows )

Talk from 1980 - ( Mentions 87 Widows )

2008 Ensign Article ( Says he went to All 84 Funerals ) (April 2008)

USA Today Obituary says, "he was a spiritual leader for about 1,000 church members, including 84 widows, many whose husbands had died in World War II."

Many of the widows were from World War II soldiers.  That would mean the women could have been about his age.   So some may still be alive.  

Newsroom Biography

2010 BYU Devotional

Mormon Hub Obituary

2008 Ensign Article by Jefferey Holland.  For some reason this has been wiped from
(Jun 2008)
"He continued visiting them in their declining years and, somewhat miraculously, has been able to speak at each of their funerals-all 84 of them!"  This is the oldest reference I can find to the story. 

1986 Article by Jefferey Holland ( Mentions 85 Widows )

Furthermore, these sweet folks never seem to die until Brother Monson is back in town from his many assignments, enabling him to speak at their funerals. Perhaps no one in the present leadership of the Church has spoken at so many funerals—he once had three services in one day—and always very personal remarks are given for the sometimes ordinary and otherwise unknown souls that he has met and loved somewhere during his ministry.

When Jefferey Holland said these words it was 1986.  It was only 37 years since he was put in as Bishop.  If he really had war veterans widows, they would only be 

February 2008 Newroom Press Release

Interesting that it says, "One way that this attribute became part of his life was in the way he served the 84 widows in his congregation while he was a young bishop and for decades afterward. He said that they all asked him to speak at their funerals, assignments he was happy to accept notwithstanding heavy travel and other commitments."  Somebody on Wikipedia gave this quote as a reference for the fact that he spoke at every funeral.

From 2008 Biography Book about the Prophets.  

References 1986 by Jefferey Holland almost implying that he spoke at every funeral, the book takes it one step further and says he spoke at each of their funerals.

Obituary Article from The Blaze
In 1949, he served as a bishop for two Salt Lake City congregations leading about 1,000 church members. More than 80 were widows whose husbands died in World War II. He regularly visited each one and promised to speak at their funerals one day, according to Religion News.

Religion News Obituary