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 Victim Blaming

Joseph Smith blamed the victims of the Haun's Creek Massacre for their own deaths.

Historic Summary: Wikipedia (Haun's Creek)

On October 30, 1838, at the height of the "Mormon Missouri Conflict" a settlement was attacked by a Missouri Militia at Haun's Creek. 17 men and boys were killed, several of their bodies were mutilated and many women were assaulted. Houses were robbed, wagons, tents, and clothing were stolen, and horses and livestock were driven off, leaving the surviving women and children destitute.

Four years later at a meeting in Nauvoo, Joseph Smith blamed the victims.  

Quote by Joseph Smith Manuscript History of the Church

(August 29, 1842) 

"I had told them about fighting the Missourians, and about fighting alone. I had not fought them with the Sword, or by carnal weapons; I had done it by stratagem, by outwitting them, and there had been no lives lost, and there would be no lives lost if they would hearken to my Council. Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took Council. None had ever been killed who abode by my Council. At Haun's Mill the brethren went contrary to my Council; if they had not, their lives would have been spared."

Why it is Wrong: 

Joseph Smith blaming the 17 victims for their own brutal deaths is inexcusable.

There are lots of reasons for the "The Missouri Conflict" It was a complicated mix of frontier land battles and religious extremism.

The first group to blame is the Missouri Militia who attacked the settlers.  Also to blame was Governor Lilliburn Boggs who issued an extermination order against the Mormons. 

Joseph Smith and the Mormons also bear substantial blame. In 2014 the LDS Church issued a carefully worded essay admitting that the Mormon settlers (Including the Danites) bear some responsibility.

"A few days before the attack Mormon Apostle Lyman Wight and several companies of Mormon defenders forced the removal of several hundred non-Mormons from Daviess County."

“The Mormons didn’t hurt anybody,“They just kind of went up to their houses and said, ‘You’ve got 24 hours to get out." Source -

It is questionable if Joseph Smith actually warned anybody about leaving Haun's Mill, if he warned anyone it was mill owner Haun who was NOT a member of the church and did not consider Smith his leader.  The men, women and children who died were moving to Missouri because they were promised they were coming to Zion. Instead they were moving into a war zone. They gathered at the mill in desperation, seeking safety. Most of the victims were new converts to the faith and new arrivals to the area.

2013 Quote by BYU History Professor Alexander Baugh

“Because of the hostile activities, Jacob Hawn was appointed to go to Far West to seek counsel concerning whether or not they should continue to maintain the mill site and remain in the area,”  “The Prophet informed him that they should abandon the mill so as to not risk the lives of the Saints living there. However, when Hawn returned, he reported that Joseph Smith said they could stay and maintain the mill.”

It is important to note that Joseph Smith had promised through revelation that Zion would be created in 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.

The current LDS Church Leadership continues to create a mythology surrounding Joseph Smith and his life that fits their faith promoting narrative.

Side Note: Those of you who grew up reading books by Beverly Cleary might be interested that she is a decedent of Jacob Haun. Haun and his wife were not at the mill during the attack and later moved to what became the Oregon Territory in about 1843. They settled part of the area in what is now Yamhill Oregon and are buried there. Source