33 Reasons why I left the Mormon Church

August 3, 2008 at 2:49 pm 1,234 comments

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”–Carl Sagan

“I hate men base in deeds but wise in words”–Pacuvius

Dear Family and Friends,

I think it’s necessary to put on paper where I stand with the Mormon Church. The 11th Article of Faith says that “we claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”

According to the dictates of my own conscience, I have determined I can no longer believe in the Mormon Church. Let me put this in plain terms. Over the years, I have observed situations, and uncovered many facts about the church that have brought me to the inescapable conclusion that the church is not led by true and living prophets.

In fact, I’ve found the Mormon Church is actually a huge fraud; a fraud like the Enron Corporation. When this became clear to me, it also became clear that there is really no positive side to Mormonism that outweighs or balances the simple fact that it’s a fraud. As much as I’d like to be balanced in my discussion about it, the fact that it’s a fraud, makes that goal impossible.

Some background:

I was an active Mormon for my entire life up to the age of 42. I’m a sixth generation Mormon on my dad’s side. My mother is a convert. I went through Primary and memorized all of the Articles of Faith (ages 1 1/2 to 12), Mutual (12-18), Seminary (14-18), served a full-time mission to Germany, and married in a Mormon temple. In Seminary (religious instruction for high school age Mormons), I memorized 159 out of 160 scripture passages. The only one I didn’t do was some 2 1/2 pages long. I’ve read all of the Mormon scriptures; some multiple times. I’ve also read many Mormon classics including Talmage’s Jesus the Christ, and The Articles of Faith.

I served in many positions (the church labels them “callings”). My greatest sins (against Mormon culture) were threefold:

1. I got married “late.” It wasn’t for lack of trying. Prior to marriage, I did my “Mormon duty” by systematically searching for a wife. In the process, I proposed to two women and was turned down (in retrospect, for many reasons, those events were fortuitous). Later, I met my future wife. We married two months shy of my 27th birthday. In Mormon culture, this is very late. An unmarried, marriageable man over the age of 25 in the Mormon Church is, according to Brigham Young, “a menace to society.” By marrying late, I demonstrated to many in Mormon culture that I was selfish (putting “worldly” interests like formal education, travel, hobbies, etc.) ahead of the “most important thing of all”–marriage and raising Mormon kids.

Which brings me to my second greatest sin.

2. My wife and I had just two children.

Believing Mormons generally have all of the children they can have, or adopt. This demonstrates loyalty to the church. Never mind the expense, the popular line is: “the Lord will provide.” Men who marry young, load up on children, and do everything they’re told, are “rewarded” with leadership positions in the church that show the Lord approves of them. On the other hand, men who marry “late,” and have two or fewer children, are seen as less faithful, and, as a result, are passed over when it comes to “promotions” in the Mormon hierarchy, or simply when it comes to determining the informal pecking order in the local congregation. Some Mormons would argue against the above, and I’m sure there are exceptions. But decades of observation on my part indicate such indeed are the exceptions. The rule prevails.

3. Early on, I was exposed to disciplined, logical, and systematic thinking. This was through earning an undergraduate minor in mathematics. More than anything else, it taught me to respect careful and rational thinkers. Along with that, I discovered a growing interest in the humanities, and the scientific nature of historical research. The combination of all of these factors set me on a path that led to the inescapable conclusion that the Mormon Church is a fraud. Now some Mormon apologists will read that and ask about the many Mormon mathematicians, scientists, and humanities professors employed by Brigham Young University (an extension of the Mormon Church). My answer to them would be a favorite quote by Upton Sinclair:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Or in other words, never underestimate what the mind can rationalize when a career is at stake.

This is not a temporary phase:

I would love to remain loyal to the church, but its actions (as I’ve observed over my entire life span) simply make it undeserving of my loyalty. We are familiar with the worthiness interview process in which we are determined to be worthy or unworthy to participate in church ordinances. Well, in that vein, I’ve determined the church to be unworthy of my time, devotion, and service. If you think I’m just going through a temporary phase of disenchantment, let me share a few things with you:

1. I’ve had doubts about the Joseph Smith story since before my mission. On my mission, I wasn’t a true believer. Those who know much about my life then will certainly remember that I saw my mission primarily as a cultural, language-learning experience. Sure, I was a “good missionary,” and made it up the leadership ladder. But even back then, I was uncomfortable with the Joseph Smith story. I preferred teaching doctrines I truly believed in and still do, things like faith, love, and charity. To me, the mission was about living abroad, learning from people who lived through World War II, sampling German foods, visiting museums and historical sites, and becoming proficient in the German language. Surprisingly enough, even though I was ostensibly a Mormon missionary at the time, I feel I succeeded in those endeavors.

2. I asked to be released from all church callings in January 2004.

3. I haven’t paid a cent in tithing and offerings to the church since December 2002, and can’t imagine ever giving them any money again.`

4. I never attend meetings anymore.

5. I formally resigned from the Mormon Church on May 12, 2005.

So why have I turned away from the Mormon Church? The reasons are many, but here are a few that come to mind.

The Reasons:

1. Numerous verbatim King James Version passages in the Book of Mormon; a book purportedly written by AD 421 whereas the King James Version is a 17th century document. Also, the biblical quotes in the Book of Mormon do not incorporate the changes made in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. Add to this recent DNA evidence that destroys the claims of historicity of the entire Book of Mormon. Finally, where, besides church paid apologists or Mormon hobbyists, are the archaeologists who study Book of Mormon history? That’s right, they don’t exist. To objective scientists outside of Mormonism, the Book of Mormon has as much historic validity as The Hobbit, and is certainly a far less interesting read.

Also, where are the bones, swords and armor from the epic battles that took place at the Hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon? The Jaredite nation supposedly ended there with 2 million men slain, and then the Nephites and Lamanites had a battle there in 421 AD where 230,000 warriors who had steel weapons were killed. Where are the anthropologists of the world who are excavating what would promise to be one of the greatest ancient battle sites? Why has not a trace of evidence ever been found at Cumorah to establish these claims?

I contrast this lack of evidence for the Book of Mormon with the 1973 discovery of the Terra Cotta Warriors near Xian, China. This amazing “army” of some 8,000 thousand terra cotta figures was buried some 600 years (210 BC) before the purported final battle in the Book of Mormon. Surely, if there was battle at Cumorah in AD 421 that involved 230,000 men, there would be something to be found, wouldn’t there? In terms of archaeology, AD 421 is simply not that long ago.

When I was growing up in Southern California, I had direct contact with the Mormon Church’s Lamanite Placement Program. The Lamanites in this program were Native American youth from Arizona, and New Mexico who, during the school year, moved off the reservation to live with white suburban Euro-American Mormon families. Since this program was run by the church under the direction of prophets, I understood Lamanites lived in Arizona and New Mexico. Also, from reading the Doctrine & Covenants (one of the canonized Mormon scriptures), I understood from passages about teaching the Lamanites the Gospel, that Lamanites also lived in Missouri.

And I recall the photos in the introductory pages of the 1950s-1970s editions of the Book of Mormon of ancient ruins in Central America, and the Hill Cumorah in Upstate New York (where the Golden Plates were buried). From those, I inferred that, as the Book of Mormon claimed, the Native Americans’ “principal ancestors” were the people of the Book of Mormon. Indeed, the people of the Book of Mormon must have been all over the North and Central American Continent like Joseph Smith wrote about the Jaredites (only one of the peoples described in the Book of Mormon):

“Jared and his brother came on to this continent from the confusion and the scattering at the Tower [Tower of Babel], and lived here more than a thousand years, and covered the whole continent from SEA TO SEA, WITH TOWNS AND CITIES…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 267.)

I grew up understanding that temple dedicatory prayers were prophetic. Indeed, the prayer at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple was canonized in the Doctrine & Covenants. It’s interesting that almost without exception in the past 75 years or so, every Mormon temple that has been dedicated in Central and South America, and the Islands of the Pacific, has, in its dedicatory prayer, been mentioned as a place that will bring the blessings of the Gospel to the Lamanites who presumably make of the principal population of that country.

Finally, as a missionary in Germany from 1981-83, I regularly showed the official Mormon Church produced filmstrip Ancient America Speaks. It presented what the rest of the world identifies as Inca and Mayan ruins, as ruins of the Book of Mormon peoples. The photos of the ruins in the filmstrip covered a wide geographical area.

So from all of those evidences I personally knew about or experienced, I believed the Book of Mormon people were spread all over the Western Hemisphere. Imagine my surprise when DNA studies in recent decades conclusively revealed virtually no Hebrew DNA among Native Americans. On the contrary, the DNA findings revealed that the ancestors of the Native Americans came from Asia. How could that be if the Book of Mormon was about Jewish ancestors, and was about a civilization that “covered the whole continent” and indeed, according to prophetic utterances, the entire Western Hemisphere?

We always clearly understood the Book of Mormon to be the “keystone of our religion.” As missionaries, we emphatically taught the principle that if the Book of Mormon is true, then the Mormon Church is true. Now that the Book of Mormon has been completely discredited, any member with a shred of intellectual honesty, who cares to remember their own past and life experiences, must conclude the entire religion is a hoax. There is no other option.

2. Book of Abraham source documents found to be nothing more than common funerary texts.

3. 1978 granting of the priesthood to blacks was over a decade after the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s. Surely God’s church would be ahead of society, not behind. As a child, I was repeatedly taught in the Mormon Church that the reason blacks were black and inferior was because in the pre-Earth life, there was a war in Heaven, and they were less valiant than the whites. So God cursed them with a black skin. Also, the Book of Mormon teaches the reason why the Indians have darker skin was because of a curse for being unrighteous.

4. Polygamy was banned in the 1890s, yet D&C 132 which authorizes polygamy, was never changed. Also, the church distances itself from, and refuses to accept responsibility for polygamy (and its associated problems) in the Intermountain West today even though the Mormon Church was the institution that opened the can of worms in the first place. I’m troubled to find out through the Mormon Church’s FamilySearch website that Joseph Smith had 24 wives (reputable historians have examined source documents that put the number at 33), 11 of whom were married to other living breathing men at the same time (though some of those men were sent away by Joseph Smith on missions), and 11 teenagers, one being as young as 14 years old.

5. President Hinckley’s (the current Mormon President) public minimizing of the couplet of “as man is God once was, as God is man may become.” On the subject of God once being a man, President Hinckley said “I don’t know that we teach it.” Unfortunately, I know beyond any doubt this is something I was taught throughout my life, and understood to be one of the core beliefs of Mormonism.

6. The church today profits from blood sport through ownership of game preserves. This comes some twenty years after I personally heard President Kimball (former church president) admonish us in the April and October 1978 General Conferences, to not “kill the little birds.” Interestingly enough, the Primary lesson manual for children still has a lesson that quotes from President Kimball’s talk about not killing the little birds.

7. The whole idea of doing the right thing so I can get some reward in heaven, or avoid punishment, strikes me as childish. Yet this is a major premise of the Mormon Church taught from childhood up (i.e. Primary songs like “Families Can Be Forever,” and “I am a Child of God”). I like to think I choose to do the right thing because it’s right, and doing good is its own reward. Paying tithing to avoid getting burned, or to gain admission to the temple, seem like the wrong motives to me. If I give a gift, it must come as a free-will offering, not out of guilt. I feel living the best I can for today is the best way to prepare for the afterlife. Guilt should not even be a factor.

8. In an age of instant satellite communication, I find spending $400+ million to build the world’s largest indoor auditorium (Conference Center) extremely wasteful. Once again, I recall how President Kimball talked about satellites as the way to bring the church to the people, thus saving the need for more people to travel to Salt Lake City. Also, I find the timing of the completion of the Conference Center not long before the Winter Olympics somewhat suspect (to be used as a showpiece?).

I worry with the purchase of Main Street between North and South Temple, the Crossroads Plaza shopping mall, and now the intent to acquire the Triad Center, and the Old Navy Building, as well as constructing a luxury hotel in Hawaii as unsettling indications the church is perhaps a bit too obsessed with making a buck. I understand now that the tab for developing the downtown shopping malls and new residences in Salt Lake City is expected to run $1.5 billion. The Mormon Church claims they must do this in order “to protect the environs of the temple” (Dec 2003 Ensign Magazine). No, it has nothing to do with making a buck, right? And what about the Mormon Church’s approval for alcohol to be served in business establishments within the mall? It’s all about money. For a church that expressly forbids its members from drinking alcohol, I find that highly hypocritical.

Recently, I learned with a massive land purchase in Nebraska, the church is now the second largest private land owner in that state. Also, I recall reading in the BBC how the Mormon Church is one of the top ten land owners in the East of England (Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, and Norfolk). And, I understand the Mormon Church is one of the top developers in the Salt Lake City World Trade Center project. Contrast these facts with meager budgets of the local Mormon congregations worldwide, and one can’t be faulted for wondering whether the Mormon Church is really just a real estate development corporation disguised as a church.

9. Repeatedly, I’ve observed how so-called promptings of the Holy Ghost are unreliable, dangerous, and can do destructive things like tear apart families. Clearly, logic, common sense, and a spirit of true charity are far better ways to handle life’s difficulties.

10. Observed the First Presidency duped by Mark Hofmann, even to the extent of publishing in the Ensign what later proved to be spurious documents. Because the First Presidency failed to detect Hoffman as a fraud, a chain of events was set in motion that resulted in the deaths of two innocent people.

11. Repeated examples of the church attempting to whitewash its history. For instance, the recent Brigham Young manual used for Priesthood and Relief Society lessons portrays him as a monogamist. Also, in recent years, I’ve noticed the church has re-manufactured Emma Smith. She was once scorned for her independent thinking (not going along with polygamy) while married to Joseph, and then for her staying behind in Nauvoo after the church left for Utah. These days, in the Ensign (Church Magazine), she is hailed as the closest thing to the Blessed Virgin, the perfect, submissive wife who never complained when her husband had church duties to perform. For as much as I value history, I find such blatant institutional dishonesty very disturbing.

12. The Lamanite Placement Program I observed at close hand as a child and teen. As an adult I’ve come to see it for its inherent racism; that of stripping young Native Americans from their families and turning them into middle class suburban mainstreamers–often alienating them from both their families, and heritage. Such actions run contrary to my conscience. Also, if spirituality is the most important thing in life, why didn’t the church take white children from upscale suburbs, and send them away from their own families each year for 9 months to live with a Native American family on a reservation? Afterall, the Native Americans are far more spiritual than the typical whitebread suburbanite.

13. I find the punitive nature of church disciplinary councils excessively harsh, humiliating, medieval, and out of line with the parable of the woman taken in adultery to whom Christ simply says “go thy way and sin no more.” Why does the church need to excommunicate people precisely at the point in their lives when they could use church fellowship the most? It simply doesn’t make sense.

14. President Hinckley claims the church doesn’t get involved in politics. If spending large sums of money to support anti-gay, and anti-civil rights legislation isn’t “getting involved in politics,” then what is?

15. During the Salt Lake Winter Olympics, an article on missionary work “The Making of a Missionary” appeared on the MSNBC website (2/19/2002 by Clare Duffy and Dana Lewis, NBC News). In it, Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, referring to the missionaries, was quoted as saying:

“We plead with them not to worry too much about whether they have a lot of conversions or whether they don’t….we want them to feel that they had a great experience, that they served, that they loved the people and learned a lot.”

Having served a mission, I find Holland’s comments to be untruthful, and misleading. What I remember very clearly is the constant pressure to baptize, and the constant guilt trips if we didn’t. I also remember the pain and humiliation of having but one baptism my entire mission. That sort of thing isn’t easily forgotten. We had a weekly standard to meet which included how many lessons we taught, how many people we brought to church, how many baptismal challenges to investigators, how many hours we went door-to-door, etc. etc. “How many” refers to numbers doesn’t it? Holland obviously wants me to pretend otherwise.

16. In the Mormon strongholds of the Western region of the United States, I’ve observed (as a rule) that leadership callings in the church are largely determined by nepotism, popularity, and socio-economic status. I was on “the leadership track” myself during my days as an Air Force officer, and college professor to be. When I decided to become a self-employed carpet cleaner, I “fell from grace,” and haven’t been considered for leadership since. Along with this, I’ve personally observed a distinct anti-working class attitude among American Mormons. This is most ironic considering the church was built on the backs of blue collar members. Yet today if you’re a blue collar member in a white suburban ward (the default Mormon ward), you’re near the bottom of the social pecking order. Certainly, no one takes you seriously, gives you responsible callings, or seeks your advice. You’re a loser, plain and simple.

Church leadership should be about service, not status. Many of the local Mormon leaders are fine, dedicated, and well-intentioned people. But they have no training for their positions, and as a result, often make serious mistakes. The members who pay so much to the church deserve better than this. And the unpaid leaders who are often serving at the expense of spending time with their families, need to be let off the hook. One other point: I was always told our leaders were called by revelation. If this is so, then why is nepotism so rampant in the General Authority ranks in the Mormon Church?

17. As a rule, church meetings are bland, boring, and uninspired. General Authorities behave like business executives, not spiritual leaders. Frankly, there is nothing put out by the church that can inspire me the way the world’s great authors and thinkers can. A few years back, my wife and I picked up from the library the book Stand for Something by Gordon B. Hinckley. Even though I was still partially a believer, we both found the book superficial, vapid, and jingoistic. After reading a few pages, we both knew our stomachs wouldn’t allow us to get through it, so we took it back to the library. Such tripe is the standard fare being dished out by the General Authorities these days. If you have any taste for rich, thoughtful and mature spiritual guidance, you’re certain to find the words of current Mormon leaders to be quite unsatisfying.

Spiritually speaking, the Mormon Church is dead. Many members seem to be running on fumes. The meetings don’t nourish the spirit, but rather pile on the guilt. The lesson manuals are uniformly boring, and written at a very rudimentary level. They do not address the spiritual and intellectual needs of lifelong members. Heaven help any member who takes history seriously, particularly church history. He/she is branded as a pariah. Indeed once the glory of God was intelligence. Today in the church, the glory of God has become obedience.

The Mormon Church’s response to 9-11 was pathetic when compared with the response by faith groups in the wider world. There were faith vigils by these non-Mormon groups that far surpassed (in spiritual insight) anything the Mormons have ever done. In my lifetime, from what I’ve observed, the Mormon Church has only ever given lip service to Easter and Christmas. Their biggest celebrations by far have to do with things like the Church’s birthday, President Hinckley’s birthday, or Joseph Smith. As I look back at my four decades of experience in the Mormon Church, it’s increasingly clear that the Brethren are merely products of their prevailing culture with all of its inherent prejudices, homophobia, racism, and bigotry. True prophets of God would transcend all of that.

18. Since becoming a father myself, I have gained new insights about the role of Heavenly Father. I love my children quite independent of their works, and how much they serve me. And I would shudder to think of cutting them off from me because of some little mistake they might make. Also, I enjoy the presence of my children, and wouldn’t expect them to have go through a lot of hassle simply to be with me. Why can’t our relationship with Heavenly Father be the same? Why does He have to come across as a petty and jealous tyrant?

Also, having a daughter, I’ve become very aware and appalled by the sexism inherent in the Mormon Church. No matter how much talent or success my daughter achieves in life, she will always be a second-class church member with no voice or authority in the Mormon Church. This is simply wrong. Finally, contrary to the media image the Mormon Church portrays as the “family church,” I’ve found in many instances personally, and from others that Mormon families are usually only close when everyone in the family believes in the Mormon Church.

When it came out that I had left the church, I was horrendously slandered by close family members. Some of the slander included: adulterer, Internet porn addict, mentally unstable, a bad influence on my children, a bad influence on nieces and nephews, a commandment breaker, possessed by the devil, and more. My dad had passed away just months before I came out of the closet–I had contemplated telling him, but he died unexpectedly in an accident. Shortly after my announcement, one family member said she was sadder about my leaving the church than about my dad’s death. So, do I think the Mormon Church is a good family church? Nope.

19. The church is obsessed with numbers. I encountered this in the Aaronic Priesthood, on my mission (especially), and then later as an Elders Quorum President, and in virtually every other leadership capacity. It’s all about percentages, attendance, etc. This numbers obsession runs counter to what I feel should be the emphasis of a church which claims to be the only true one. What truly floors me is to hear the leaders claim it’s not a numbers game!

20. I’ve seen how Priesthood Correlation has gutted the church; turning it into a soulless corporation. Before Correlation, for instance, the Relief Society had its own budget, manuals, and lessons. Now, everything flows through the men at the top, and the RS is but a mere shadow of its former self. The same is true about the other auxiliaries.

21. There is no real spirit of community in the local wards I’ve attended over the past 15 years (4 wards in four entirely different stakes). When long time members move away, they no longer get a chance to speak in sacrament meeting because the Brethren have already correlated the meeting schedule for the year and there’s no room left. Missionary homecomings and farewells have similarly been banned–anything that smacks of community spirit or personalizing the worship services. This is sad. I enjoy community spirit. The Mormon Church offers only dull standardization. Also, the church administration in Salt Lake takes in vast amounts of money from its members yet only returns a pittance to the local wards for their activities.

When I was in my youth in the 1970s, I recall there were many fun programs and ward activities. We had bazaars, dance festivals, speech festivals, roadshows, great youth activity nights, regular youth dances with live bands, seminary scripture chase competitions, a full complement of sports competition (softball and basketball) spanning several months a year, etc. These are the types of things that weld young members to the church, that give them a love of it.

Nowadays, due to many reasons (financial being the prime one), most of those programs are gone, or are a mere shadow of their former greatness. The youth programs are often dull, underplanned, and half-hearted. The church is in dire need of injecting fun back into the experience of being a member. Yet, if anything interesting is to be done, it has to come out of the members’ pockets. Salt Lake gives very little back. Luckily, in some “rich wards,” wealthy members can pick up the slack. But the fact remains, in virtually every ward I’ve observed over the past decade, the activities program is an afterthought, and the social life of the ward is seriously lacking.

22. Pervasive racism

The core story of the Book of Mormon is racist. It’s about a family in which two of the sons turned bad. God therefore cursed them with a dark skin. Dark skin, according to the Book of Mormon is a curse from God. There is no way Mormons can deny this fact. And the only way they can distance themselves from it is to denounce the Book of Mormon. But how do they do that when for decades they’ve claimed it’s “the keystone of our religion,” and “the most perfect book”? Some more thoughts to ponder: The following quote: Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference Report 1960, Improvement ERA, December 1960, pages 922-923

“I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today… The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.”

Why is whiter skin color associated with righteousness? Isn’t that racism? A few more quotes from church leaders:

“Now WE ARE GENEROUS WITH THE NEGRO. WE ARE WILLING that the Negro have the highest kind of education. I WOULD BE WILLING to LET every Negro DRIVE A CADILLAC IF THEY COULD AFFORD IT. I WOULD BE WILLING that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. BUT LET THEM ENJOY THESE THINGS AMONG THEMSELVES.” LDS Apostle Mark E. Petersen, “Race Problems – As They Affect The Church,” Address delivered at Brigham Young University, August 27, 1954, as quoted in Jerald and Sandra Tanner’s book entitled, “The Changing World of Mormonism,” p. 307, emphasis added.

“Those who were LESS VALIANT IN PRE-EXISTENCE and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the NEGROES.” LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 527, 1966 edition, emphasis added.

“THE NEGROES ARE NOT EQUAL WITH OTHER RACES where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, …but this inequality is not of man’s origin. IT IS THE LORD’S DOING, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the LACK OF SPIRITUAL VALIANCE OF THOSE CONCERNED IN THEIR FIRST ESTATE [the Mormon pre-existence].” LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 527 – 528, 1966 edition, emphasis added.

“We’ve always counseled in the Church for our Mexican members to marry Mexicans, our Japanese members to marry Japanese, our Caucasians to marry Caucasians, our Polynesian members to marry Polynesians. The counsel has been wise. You may say again, “Well, I know of exceptions.” I do, too, and they’ve been very successful marriages. I know some of them. You might even say, “I can show you local Church leaders or perhaps even general leaders who have married out of their race.” I say, “Yes–exceptions.” Then I would remind you of that Relief Society woman’s near-scriptural statement, “We’d like to follow the rule first, and then we’ll take care of the exceptions.” LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer, from the talk “Follow the Rule” given at Brigham Young University, 1/14/77.

“I will remark with regard to slavery, inasmuch as we believe in the Bible, inasmuch as we believe in the ordinances of God, in the priesthood and order and decrees of God, we must believe in slavery. This colored race have been subjected to severe curses, which they have in their families and their classes and in their various capacities brought upon themselves…

“I am a firm believer in slavery…Those servants want to come here with their masters…and they commence to whisper round their views upon the subject, saying ‘Do you think it’s right? I am afraid it is not right’. I know it is right, and there should be a law made to have the slaves serve their master, because they are not capable of ruling themselves…I am firm in the belief that they ought to dwell in servitude…

“When a master has a negro, and uses him well, he is much better off than when he is free. As for masters knocking them down and whipping them and breaking the limbs of their servants, I have as little opinion of that as any person can have, but good wholesome servitude, I know there is nothing better than that.”

(Speech by Brigham Young delivered in joint session of the legislature, Friday, Jan. 23rd, 1852, recorded by Geo. D. Watt, Brigham Young Papers, Historical Dept. of the Church).

“If there never was a prophet or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before, I tell you, this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of old Cain. I know they are.”

“Again to the subject before us: as to the negro men bearing rule, not one of the children of old Cain have one particle of right to bear rule in government affairs from first to last. They have no business there. This privilege was taken from them by their own transgressions, and I cannot help it.

“I am as much opposed to the principle of slavery as any man in the present acceptation or usage of the term – it is abused. I am opposed to abusing that which God has decreed, to take a blessing, and make a curse of it. It is a great blessing to the seed of Adam to have the seed of Cain for servants…”

“Therefore, I will not consent for one moment to have an African dictate (to) me or my brethren with regard to church or state government…No, it is not right. But say some, is there anything of this kind in the constitution the United States has given us? If you will allow me the privilege of telling it right out, it is none of their damned business what we do or say here. What we do, it is for them to sanction, and then for us to say what we like about it. It is written right in the constitution ‘that every free white male inhabitant above the age of 21 years’, and etc…I have given you the true principle and doctrine.

“What the Gentiles are doing, we are consenting to do [he's referring to the "evil" abolitionist effort going on in the USA at the time]. What we are trying to do today is to make the Negro equal with us in all our privileges. My voice shall be against it all the day long. I shall not consent for one moment.”

(Speech in joint session, Feb. 5, 1852, Brigham Young Papers, Historical Dept. of the Church)

Sorry, but the above quotes indicate a pervasive racism. I can’t in good conscience be associated with an organization that holds such beliefs, or refuses to apologize for them.

23. I think facts matter, and therefore cannot accept the following:

“Our individual, personal testimonies are based on the witness of the Spirit, not on any combination or accumulation of historical facts. If we are so grounded, no alteration of historical facts can shake our testimonies.” (Dallin H. Oaks, “1985 CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium,” Brigham Young University, Aug. 16, 1985, page 26).

I’m sorry, but historical fact is, always has been, and always will be important to me, and I can’t simply ignore it even if the Brethren want me to. Call it a weakness. I plead guilty. The church makes extraordinary claims, and consequently, must be held to higher standards of honesty and integrity. Yet the church repeatedly fails to meet those standards. Also, the church encourages us to “get over” history such as the Mountain Meadows Massacre, polygamy, and blacks and the priesthood, but never get over history such as the story of the Martin Handcart Company. Why?

As a lifelong history buff, and as an active tour guide at the Oregon Historical Society since 2001, I’ve learned firsthand that professional historians follow painstaking procedures to uncover and document the past. They use primary and secondary sources, and without exception (in my observations), only make claims when they have significant documentable evidence to back up those claims. For reputable historians, there are no hidden agendas or predetermined outcomes. The peer review system virtually ensures that. The Mormon Church would have its members believe that any history which casts the church in anything but glowing terms is agenda-driven, and anti-Mormon, and to be avoided.

When we accept the Mormon Church’s spin on history, it’s very easy to see bogey men in everything, and to lose the critical trust that truth does exist. Sure, good historical research isn’t infallible, but for the most part, it’s highly reliable. My point is when we apply these standards to Mormon Church history, all sorts of embarrassing things appear. Unfortunately, rather than come clean with their history, the church would rather run from it.

24. We are told this is a family church yet we also hear crazy stories about members of the past (who are held up as role models) for their sacrifices. Here are two from a recent regional conference held in Salem, Oregon. President Faust’s wife talked about her grandmother who raised 8 young children for two years while her husband was off serving a mission for the church? If being a present father is so important, why did the church take him away from his family? Another story was about a widow who spent nearly every waking hour of the final 12 years of her life doing temple endowments so she could reach her goal of 20,000 during that time frame. By my calculations, that would be 12 hours a day, 5 days a week for well over a decade. What about time for friends, family, nature, learning, and just enjoying Heavenly Father’s creations? To me this lady went clearly overboard, and should not be held up as a good example.

25. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young reported their revelations all of the time. Biblical and Book of Mormon prophets did as well. Yet, our prophets today tell us their revelations are too sacred to talk about. Why the difference? Were the earlier prophets’ revelations just not sacred enough? Logic suggests today’s leaders are pulling our legs.

26. The church teaches its members to get all of their answers through prayer. While I see prayer as very important, I think using it as the ultimate answer key is a recipe for disaster. Logic, common sense, thorough research, and patience are incredibly important in decision making. Sadly, the Mormon Church doesn’t emphasize these essential tools. Sorry, but life has taught me that prayer and inspiration are not excuses for failure to do proper research and apply some elbow grease.

27. The church is insensitive to individual members. The following is from Gordon B. Hinckley in General Conference, October 5, 2002:

“Now we have an interesting custom in the Church. Departing missionaries are accorded a farewell. In some wards this has become a problem. Between outgoing missionaries and returning missionaries, most sacrament meetings are devoted to farewells and homecomings.

No one else in the Church has a farewell when entering a particular service. We never have a special farewell-type meeting for a newly called bishop, for a stake president, for a Relief Society president, for a General Authority, or anyone else of whom I can think. Why should we have missionary farewells?

The First Presidency and the Twelve, after most prayerful and careful consideration, have reached the decision that the present program of missionary farewells should be modified.

The departing missionary will be given opportunity to speak in a sacrament meeting for 15 or 20 minutes. But parents and siblings will not be invited to do so. There might be two or more departing missionaries who speak in the same service. The meeting will be entirely in the hands of the bishop and will not be arranged by the family. There will not be special music or anything of that kind.”

Why have a missionary farewell? Because in terms of devotion, age, and commitment, nothing compares with what a 19 year old boy or 21 year old woman is expected to sacrifice to serve the church–and not get paid. The least the church could do is recognize them when they leave on their mission, and allow them to personalize the meeting. This policy from 2002 is one of the most insensitive things I’ve ever heard from the Brethren. What an insult to the young people who serve so faithfully on their own dime.

Comparing missionary service to the calling of bishop, stake president, or RS president is a slap in the face to the missionary. If President Hinckley doesn’t see the difference between sending a 19 year old boy away from his family and friends for two years, and calling a Relief Society president, then I pity him. Some more words from Gordon B. Hinckley:

“….We hope also that holding elaborate open houses after the sacrament meeting at which the missionary speaks will not prevail. Members of the family may wish to get together. We have no objection to this. However, we ask that there be no public reception to which large numbers are invited.”

Yet another evidence of how the church is deadset on ruining anything that smacks of personalization.

28. LDS scout troops are, on the whole, pitiful when compared with non LDS scout troops. I know this firsthand from my experience in scouting in the Mormon Church, decades of observation in a variety of places, and now my experience with my son in a non Mormon troop. Here are some of the reasons (based on my observations over several decades) why LDS troops are so lousy:

a. Leaders aren’t allowed to volunteer, rather they’re assigned by the bishop. Also, unlike virtually ever other organization outside the Mormon Church that offers youth programs, the Mormon Church fails to do background checks on its youth leaders. In this day and age, such negligence is disgusting.

b. Parental involvement is almost universally lacking; but do you blame the parents what with all of the time-consuming things the church heaps on them such as HT/VT, other callings, temple attendance, leadership meetings, etc.?

c. Camping trips don’t include Sundays (what’s wrong with having Sacrament meeting in nature, the church used to do this?), and this results in boys not having time to develop scout skills to the extent non LDS boys do.

d. LDS leaders are often untrained, and serve only a short time. Every year we read about a new tragedy. Recently, there was the scout in Utah who got lost and died in the wilderness. And, not long ago there was the scout troop in Utah that caused a fire that caused millions of dollars of damage. I recall many years ago hearing my brother tell stories about our ward troop on a trip to Death Valley in which the Mormon boy scouts were guilty of repeated blatant shoplifting and arson.

e. LDS troop size is typically very small (6-10 boys being common). The church could combine wards in creating troops, and thus provide a viable troop size with real leadership opportunities, but they don’t.

f. LDS troops typically emphasize getting rank to the exclusion of providing a well-rounded program. LDS Eagle Scouts have a poor reputation in the wider scouting world as boys who invariably cut corners to achieve their rank. Just how much can a 14 year old Mormon Eagle Scout have gotten out of the program compared with a 17 year old non-Mormon Eagle Scout who has been active in scouting since turning 11?

29. The book Drawing on the Powers of Heaven by Grant Von Harrison, was heavily endorsed in my mission in Munich, Germany (1981-1983). We were told to read it before we entered the field, and then keep it for frequent reference once we were there.

I found this book perhaps works for missionaries to Latin America, but it caused me a great deal of pain and suffering in Germany. It was only later through years of observation, and the application of honest logic that the reason some missionaries baptize and others don’t is not personal righteousness. No, the decisive factors are 1. where they are serving, and 2. their salesmanship skills.

Missionaries who serve in areas where the educational, and socio-economic levels of the general population are lower than the USA, tend to have the most success. In areas like Central Europe where literacy exceeds that of the USA, and with access to information, and the socio-economic level roughly equivalent, missionary success is practically non-existent. Yet Von Harrison (who served his mission in Mexico) places all of the blame for not baptizing on the shoulders of the individual missionaries. It’s a matter of personal faith and personal righteousness, he argues. As a young and impressionable 19 year old, I was in no position to defend my mind from such abusive and manipulative teachings. It took me years after the mission to finally realize it wasn’t me who was the problem.

30. The church actually breaks up families. From 3+ hours of meetings on Sunday, to time demanding callings on fathers and mothers, to constant pressure to attend the temple, to missions for boys at the age of 19, to pressure on young adults to marry early, to missions for grandparents, to cleaning the chapel, to various other demands, the church is constantly pulling family members away from spending time together. Since distancing myself from the church, I’ve noticed a marked improvement in our family life, and particularly, an increase in the time we spend together.

31. The church teaches against evolution, yet it employs dozens of professors at BYU in areas such as biology, geology, genetics, and anthropology, who, without exception, teach that the earth is millions of years old, and that evolution is scientifically verifiable. So whose side do we take? The church’s, or that of the church-employed BYU professors?

32. Back in the 1970s, the Mormon Church openly opposed passage of the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In fact, they distributed a small pamphlet worldwide which thoroughly covered the reasons why they opposed it. One key reason was their belief in maintaining the balance of powers between the federal government and the states. They argued that the states should retain authority over questions such as marriage, relationships of the sexes, etc. They made it clear a constitutional amendment for such a matter would be wrong. Ironically, these days the Mormon Church is a vocal proponent for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Why the complete turnaround in just 30 years? Did they think no one would notice?

33. General Authorities regularly give advice that makes no sense, and actually damages peoples’ lives. For instance, consider the pressure to marry young and have children immediately. Such a life course is foolhardy, and often is the catalyst to divorce, depression (anti-depression drug use), absent fathers, no time for fun\bonding, etc. In February 2005, Elder Russell M. Nelson delivered the latest installment of such lousy advice. A few quotes from a Deseret News article by Rodger Hardy dated February 7, 2005: College students should not put off creating families until they have completed all of their studies, an LDS Church apostle said Sunday. He urged his listeners to seek first to follow the teachings of the church before seeking wealth, which includes the commandment to create families. He added,

“Satan is waging war directly at the heart of God’s plan — the family,” he said. The age of couples getting married for the first time is increasing, as is the number of unmarried couples, he said. “It takes real faith to withstand this attack.”

Similar counsel from General Authorities when I was college age, resulted in significant amounts of added stress because I was having a hard time “finding a wife.” Just the term “finding a wife” now sounds weird to me. Why the huge mandate? Because of my “failure” to follow this commandment at the “right age” (21-23), I suffered from a low self-image. I had supposedly done everything right in the rest of my life, but why couldn’t I keep up with “more righteous” Mormon peers who were getting married and having kids right away? What a crock! In retrospect, I look back on the single years of my Twenties as some of the greatest of my life (I didn’t get married until I was nearly 27).

Clearly, such stupid counsel coming from a man whose career was that of a highly paid cardiologist, is a clear and unmistakable evidence that the Mormon Church leaders truly don’t have our best interests in mind. Curiously enough, in May 2005, the US Census Bureau published a report (see Table 1) that shows Utah has the lowest median age for first marriages (21.9 for women and 23.9 for men). So apparently, I’m not just imagining things.

And there are many other factors behind my unbelief. I hope and pray you will find it in your heart to understand what I’m saying, and respect my freedom to worship with integrity, “according to the dictates of [my]…own conscience.”

Sincerely,
John O. Andersen (Guest)

Entry filed under: ~Guest. Tags: , , , , , .

Ethiopia and the Ark of the Covenant Questions regarding the universe and sacrificial love

1,234 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The de-Convert  |  August 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    This is a long one copied over from our .org site. However, for those struggling with the Mormon faith, it’s a great resource.

  • 2. LeoPardus  |  August 3, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    Didn’t read all of this, but man, what a solid and complete refutation of any kind of claim to truth the Mormon Church might want to pretend it has!

  • 3. Mike  |  August 3, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    What an uninformed tirade. A little bit of homework would have shown how weak most of these reasons really are.

  • 4. nearlynormalized  |  August 3, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    “We are all Gods children and all our blood is red.” Old Jewish grandmother,;who loved. Thank you for making the break–stay strong.

  • 5. kaffee_ph  |  August 3, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    I didn’t expect to read trough this but did, mainly out of curiosity about the Mormon Church, as I see that most faith founded and perpetuated by contemporary individuals are like loosely woven baskets. The ancient philosophers, at least, knew their places and knew when to open their mouths, and, to this day, their statements are still used as cross-reference.

  • 6. falcon  |  August 3, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    “Uninformed tirade” is right up there with “that has been bebunked dozens of times” as a line of reasoning. The author had the courage to go beyond a subjective burning in the bosom and deal with solid evidence concerning Mormonism.

  • 7. truthwalker  |  August 3, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    As high schooler I went to training classes to learn to “witness” to LDS members with the much of the above data. Ironically it would be another 10 years before I would see the same glaring holes in my own faith.

  • 8. Peter  |  August 3, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    mike

    there certainly are some things in this that are merely opinion and personal perspective, but much if not most is factual.

    there is no question that the LDS changed its policy after civil rights court decisions, the Book of Mormon plaguerizes the KJV Bible, etc.

    sure some of the things are from his perspective, like the boy scout thing or the local church experience, but as one who has done much of the same research, the facts are still facts. and they are pretty hard to deny.

    peter

  • 9. The de-Convert  |  August 3, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    truthwalker,

    As high schooler I went to training classes to learn to “witness” to LDS members with the much of the above data. Ironically it would be another 10 years before I would see the same glaring holes in my own faith.

    I remember when I came to this realization myself. Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon the same way the Bible authors wrote their books. The way we (Evangelical Christians) looked at Mormons is no different that the way the Jews looked at us. Mormons think they’re right. We thought we were right…. and so the story goes.

    We should write a newer newer new testament (building on the O.T., N.T, and Book of Mormon) and see if we will have a bunch of people in a few years following it.

    Paul

  • 10. Philip  |  August 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Well, even if most of the facts can be verified, reason 5 might be very slightly edited, as Hinckley’s been dead for six months now. Otherwise, this has certainly been a very interesting read.

  • 11. Derek  |  August 4, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    uninformed

    Never fails to disappoint me how many people can look at something black and insist that it’s white and keep a straight face.

  • 12. LeoPardus  |  August 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Mike:

    There’s plenty of information there. But hey, if you’ve done “A little bit of homework” why don’t you share your superior information (be sure to document carefully) and blow the author’s facts out of the water? SInce these reasons are so weak, it should be easy.

    I’d be especially interested to see you come up with any physical (archeological) evidence for any of the historical claims of Mormonism. E.g. battles in N Amer. mentioned in their books; evidence of more advanced races in N Amer at a time when all there was here were very primitive indian tribes. Just a couple that pop to mind.

  • 13. LeoPardus  |  August 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Blasted lack of a preview function. Only the two words “any” are supposed to be bold.

  • 14. Larry T  |  August 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    “after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised upon his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.” (Ether 15:31)

    This is from the book of Mormon. The guy got his head cut off, then raises himself up, struggles for breath and dies. One explanation for this is that Shiz’z Dad was a chicken, which are known for running around with their heads cut off.

  • 15. LeoPardus  |  August 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Larry T:

    He was known as Chicken Shiz. :)

  • 16. SnugglyBuffalo  |  August 4, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Speaking of chickens with their heads cut off…

  • 17. Larry T  |  August 4, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Very funny Snuggly. :)

  • 18. David V  |  August 5, 2008 at 1:55 am

    I notice that John doesn’t tell us which church is the “true church” of Jesus Christ, if not the “Mormon” Church. Which church has all of the perfect traits of Christ’s primitive Church that John feels are lacking in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Which has the true authority of the priesthood? Which was started directly by Jesus Christ and not an offshoot of another church?

    John seems to think Jesus’ Church should have no dull, volunteer-led worship services, but have only wonderful programs and sermons by inspiring paid professionally trained ministers with completely happy congregation members with perfectly adjusted families who are not encouraged to donate money and time to their church which has little or no central leadership authority.

    It seems to me Jesus, himself, had to struggle with such things as developing priesthood leadership, member loyalty, personal disrespect, and persecution. The people in His church and His chosen leaders were not perfect, but His organization and personal examples were goals to strive for.

    John, which of all the hundreds of churches and faiths is Jesus’ true church? Or, is there no one church, but all are true, except the “Mormon Church” or maybe, any other particular church one has determined doesn’t fit one’s personally chosen characteristics? Which has no leader and member flaws, with little need to improve and progress?

    You are a smart fellow, John. Tell us which of all the churches is actually the TRUE Church of God? You say you do worship according to your conscience, and we respect that. But, where do you worship? We would honestly like to know which is this ideal church or system of worship you have found.

  • 19. Quester  |  August 5, 2008 at 2:38 am

    We would honestly like to know which is this ideal church or system of worship you have found.

    What “we” are you speaking for, David V., on this blog for those who are skeptical of, are leaving, or have deconverted from Christianity? On whose behalf are you seeking some ideal church?

  • 20. The Apostate  |  August 5, 2008 at 3:45 am

    David V causing laughter:

    It seems to me Jesus, himself, had to struggle with such things as developing priesthood leadership, member loyalty, personal disrespect, and persecution. The people in His church

    I’m sorry, but that is just straight out funny. What was the name of Jesus’ church? Oh snap, that’s right – Jesus was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed American. What a load of anachronistic racist spewage. If he is at all historical, Jesus was a Jewish rabbi who taught in Jewish synagogues and meeting places. He did not have a “developing priesthood.” Argh.

    de-Convert, I think our next project should be to meet up halfway between my house and yours, dig in someone’s backyard and find a text made out of gold. We will hide it in the motel while we separately translate it into English (one American version, one Canadian version). Once it is done we will call Gabriel for him to pick it up just to make sure we don’t leave any physical evidence. I am sure that at that time I will start speaking in tongues and you will go out and heal a multitude of people (I will be your witness). We will keep some entertainingly vague records of our ensuing travels, but tell different people different words of wisdom, just to confuse the hell out of them. Maybe we could pick up a couple wives – one from each state and province and have enough kids to raise our own militia and start our own little freaky colony.

    Dibs on the “Prophet” hat!

  • 21. Obi  |  August 5, 2008 at 8:15 am

    “…a text made out of gold.

    I see what you did there.
    ;)

  • 22. Will Dunn  |  August 5, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Great story! I went through a lot of what you did.

    I can’t believe the dolts who run the Mormon Church are STILL telling kids to get married young and have children.

  • 23. DB  |  August 6, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Fascinating post. I really liked your thoughts on point 18 regarding raising children and comparing your love to them to the love many Christians claim god has for “his” children. Interesting point of view that I haven’t heard but I do agree with. I have a LDS blogger who comments frequently on my blog and am never quite sure what her opinion is on many of the issues you touched on.

  • 24. Digital Dame  |  August 6, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    DB:

    Regarding your LDS commenter: As they say, if you can’t be brilliant, be vague ;)

  • 25. Oleander  |  August 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    John—

    Are your holy underwear on sale on EBAY? If they are let me know where the bidding starts and how they are listed.

  • 26. Brittani  |  August 7, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Although I didn’t live the “Mormon life” for quite as long, (I quit going as a teenager), I still find it amazing that I believed for as long as I did. My parents raised me to be able to think through the “why’s and how’s” of religion and never understood why I kept going, my mom quit going in her early twenties long before I quit. I thought at the time I was being an example to her. I think this is a great collection of why people who leave “the church” finally decide to leave. I appreciate this a lot and plan to share it with others. (Its especially good because I’m temporarily living in Utah!)

  • 27. societyvs  |  August 8, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    John, thanks for sharing that long list of why you left Mormonism – it truly is enlightening to know.

    I had some Mormon missionaries over a year or so back – and debated a lot of these finer points with them (found them on recovery from Mormonism site). I actually think the kids are leading good lives but I also found the religion full of holes. The reason I debated Mormonism is because I am a First Nations person from Canada – an Indian. I know for a fact that book of Mormon is made up – or our-right lying concerning how we got here – and that bothers me to some degree.

    All in all though – I find the missionaries nice enough and seem to be kind towards people. I may not like the religion myself – but if it can move people towards a more moral stance in life – I have to slightly applaude it.

  • 28. Anonymous  |  August 10, 2008 at 11:49 am

    “O Ye of little Faith”

  • 29. silentj  |  August 10, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    “I think, therefore, I am.”

    “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

    “Here I am. Rock you like a hurricane.”

    “Whuuuuuuzzzzuuuuppppppp.”

  • 30. amelia  |  August 12, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Well, I disagree with your hate of the church for many reasons. I am of African decent and was born into the Muslim faith but later became atheist before joining the Church. And no, I did not find the Church nor did it find me at first. I had Mormon co-workers who I thought were such awesome people. It was their examples that made me interested in their beliefs. Although, I worked with people of other Christian faiths; my Mormon co-workers stood out to me from the rest. They were just different in a unique and positive way. I’ve investigated other Christian churches in my life before but, they never really answered the questions of my specific spiritual needs. Yes, I had a lot of people tell me ALL the anti-Mormon stuff from polygamy, to blacks without the priesthood deal before and during my investigation of the church. The funny thing is all these people were either not members, members who weren’t active, or ex-communicated members of the Church. Not only that, these people weren’t even happy with themselves or satisfied with where they were at in their own personal lives. So, instead of getting clear answers from them, I asked my Mormon co-workers. They explained it to me in a way that I DID NOT find offensive at all. I felt like they had it together and when they were going through any trials, they seemed to really know what source to get their strength from to overcome them. They knew who they were & I loved how they sticked to their morals & values instead of compromising them in which I see a lot now. I wanted that strong sense of hope, assurance, & being they had that I did not have. I am so grateful and happy I have that now, and will never go back to my old life without a true understanding of God and sense of purpose. It’s unfortunate you see things the way you do because being a member is the best thing thats happened to me in my life & its blessings.

  • 31. Obi  |  August 12, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Of course, ask the Mormons currently active in the church and connected to it for an unbiased opinion regarding discrimination issues in their church. I don’t really know/care enough to jump into this conversation, but I just wanted to say that that isn’t very smart. It’s like asking an incarcerated criminal for an objective and unbiased account of their crime and the fairness of their trial.

    I think it would be wiser to ask an active Mormon, one who left the church, as well as consult third-party resources to finish it off. Just in my opinion.

  • 32. Larry T.  |  August 12, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Joseph Smith “deciphered” a book called “the Book of Abraham” before Egyptologists determined how to decipher hieroglyphics(?). His interpretation of the book compared to what it actually says is (after interpretation ofhieroglyphics was determined through use of the Rosetta stone) proof enough to know the man was a fraud. His interpretation is so far from the real translation it is pitiful. If you get a chance investigate this—it really is enlightening concerning that church to say the least. The fact that Joe was digging for treasure before the angel Moroni (note: anagram is “I Moron”) made contact is another suspicious clue.

    Also, note that Paul says “Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you let him be accursed”. (Galatians) This is actually very interesting as the whole Mormon faith supposedly came about due to the “leading” of an angel.

  • 33. Andre  |  August 17, 2008 at 11:24 am

    see John 6:66 why others left Jesus Christ.

    I am glad to know and testify that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true and living Church.

    May the Spirit enlighten your mind and heart so that you can see the truth of the restored gospel

    Andre

  • 34. Obi  |  August 17, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Andre said, “see John 6:66 why others left Jesus Christ.”
    :(

  • 35. Estaban  |  August 24, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    I have been interested in the LDS for several years having spoken to missionaries and become curious. Having looked into pro, anti and ex sources, I find it difficult to understand how any intelligent adult could possibly subscribe to this ‘religion’. I guess that the reason is that having invested a certain amount of time, effort and money it just becomes increasingly difficult to admit that it might have all been a waste of time. Joe offered cast iron authority and certainty in a time and environment of uncertainty in areas of both religious and temporal security, and people love certainty.

  • 36. nadine carter  |  August 29, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    You did not mention that Joseph Smith stole outright from the Masons every Temple Rite they practice. And the Masonic symbols on garments. He joined the Freemasons and two weeks later, he formed the Temple Rites. This is no coincidence but theft. He also stole from an unpublished novel the stories in the Book of Mormon. He was known as a notorious treasure seeker by people in his community. His reputation has been so cleaned up by the Church that it bears no resemblance at all to the real Joseph Smith. He was killed by Masons who were angered that he made public the rites practiced by Masons in secret ceremonies.

  • 37. chris  |  September 13, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    No mention anywhere in the article or the posts (that I can recall) of belief in God, and in Jesus Christ as Savior. The main thing is and should be the Main Thing – Jesus. The rest is peripheral, although lies and dishonesty, emphasis on things, station, $$$, etc. are things that get in the way of what is really important – our relationship with God, our belief in His Son as our Savior, Lord and King. K? Have a good one All.

  • 38. My Brainwashed Daughter  |  September 18, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    LDS families are not only Disfunctional but they have been trained by the LDS Church on how to brainwash children from normal familys. Move out of the city as far as you can go if you have an intellagant daughter with good geans involved with an LDS boy. The LDS Church has my daughter and my good geans all taken away from her biological mother.

  • 39. Sad but True  |  September 19, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Teach them young…Repeat…Repeat…Repeat

    “I’d like to bear my testimony. I know this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was the true prophet. I love my family and friends. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

  • 40. brian  |  September 19, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    first off your an idiot buddy, there is dna evidence if you just did some research and looked into it. In 2004 or 05 i forget there was a group of lds and NON lds researches who found traces to a ancient tribe that inhabited this land around lehi’s day that has direct link to ONLY finland and ISRAEL. As far as the church, if your looking for something perfect bro, sorry man thats not the church, if your looking for truth with some weaknesses yes thats us. I would rather live as a good lds member and die and find out that i was wrong, than live as any other religion and find out the lds was right. Start looking for the good in things buddy, there is a lot the church does if you dont see it your blind. Satan is rampent in these last days, and hes got ya man. SORRY.

  • 41. brian  |  September 19, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I JUST LEFT THE LAST COMMENT. I AM A MISSIONARY ON A MISSION RIGHT NOW. JOSEPH SMITH DID NOT HAVE 33 WIFES HE HAD 27, AND IF YOU KNEW THE HISTORY BEHIND THE OTHERS ITS NOT AS BAD AS IT SEEMS. YOU ARE LIKE THE ANTI PEOPLE MAN, STEP BACK AND LOOK AT YOUR SELF. JOSEPH ASKED ONE OF THE EARLY APOSTLES TO LET HIM HAVE HIS WIFE, HE ACTUALLY ASKED A FEW, MOST LEFT THE CHURCH, THIS ONE DID NOT AND SAID JOSEPH I KNOW YOUR A PROPHET AND YOU CAN HAVE HER. THE NEXT DAY JOSEPH MARRIED THEM IN THE TEMPLE AND SAID IT WAS A TEST, THE LORD HAD ME DO IT. THE FACT IS THIS LIFE IS A TEST, IN EVERYTHING. YOU SOUND LIKE THOMAS MAN, STOP LOOKING FOR PROOF, HAVE YOU SEEN THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS, WELL I HAVE, DO BELIEVE THEY FOUND THEM, HOW AND WHY? YOU HAVE NEVER HANDLED THEM. DO YOU BELIEVE PERU IS THERE, I DO, IVE NEVER BEEN THERE. IF IT WAS THAT EASY MAN, WHAT WOULD BE THE PURPOSE OF LIFE, YOU KNOW WHATS RIGHT AND WRONG. IF YOU LOOK FOR THE FRUITS OVER ALL THEY ARE GOOD. THEY ARE MEN, THEY ARNT PERFECT BRO, SO STOP YOUR COMPLAINING AND BE A MAN. YOUR WITH GOD OR NOT, RIGHT NOW YOUR NOT, YOU CAN LIE ALL YOU WANT AND PRODUCE ANTI TO FEEL GOOD AND JUSTIFY WHAT YOUR DOING, BUT IN REALITY YOUR ONLY KIDDING AND CONDEMING YOURSELF. IF THIS CHURCH AINT TRUE THERE IS NOT GOD BRO, CAUSE HE HAS STOPED SPEAKING TO MAN, HE DOESNT LOVE US, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY, SHOULD WE BE BAPTIZED, WE CANT LIVE WITH OUR FAMILIES, PEOPLE WHO DIDNT HEAR THE GOSPEL AND DIED WILL GO TO HELL RIGHT?? WRONG BUDD. GROW UP. JS DID NOT STEAL THE TEMPLE CEREMONY IM NOT GOING TO EXPLAIN BUT JUST SAY DO MORE RESEARCH MAN WOW. AND LAST, BUT DEF NOT LEAST, WHAT ABOUT THE 11 WITNESSES HUH. DO SOME RESEARCH ON THESE PEOPLE. ALL OF THEM WERE RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY MEN IN THEIR COMMUNITES. PEOPLE LOVED THEM, THEY WORKED IN THE COMMUNITY, GOVERNMENT AND HIGH RANKING IN THEIR PROFESSION. 11 POEPLE. NOT TO MENTION THAT EMMA HANDLED THE PLATES. THE FACT IS THERE WERE PLATES BUDDY .SO WITH THIS IN MIND,. JOSEPH MADE PLATES THAT ONE OF THE DESCRIBED WHERE AROUND 70 POUNDS, AND NEVER WENT BACK TO ASK WHERE HE LEFT OFF, LOT OF HEBREW LINKS IN THEIR, LINK TO THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS WHICH WERE NOT FOUND UNTIL 1947, AND STUDY THE QUMRAN PEOPLE MAN LINKS TO THE MORMON FAITH. SO HE MADE UP THE BOM RIGHT? IN LIKE 60 DAYS. TRY TO COPY THE BOOK OF MORMON WORD FOR WORD IN 60-70 DAYS, DOUBT YOU CAN DO IT. SORRY BRO YOUR OUT OF LUCK, HOPEFULLY GOD HAS MORE PATIENCE WITH YOU THAN ME.

  • 42. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    The Three Witnesses were a group of three early leaders of the Latter Day Saint movement who signed a statement in 1830 saying that an ANGEL had shown them the golden plates from which Joseph Smith, Jr. translated the Book of Mormon and that they had heard God’s voice testifying that the book had been translated by the power of God.

    But even if we or an ANGELfrom heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! (Gal. 1:8)

  • 43. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    There is another “statement of 8 witnesses” (making total of 11) who testify that Joseph Smith showed them the plates, but the “statement of three witnesses” states the plates were shown to them by an angel of God named Moroni.

  • 44. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Oh–I forgot—-can you provide a paper on the DNA evidence which shows that the American indians(or whomever is descended from Lehi) descended from Finland or Israel? I can’t find it.

  • 45. Cooper  |  September 19, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    The Finland/Israel connection intrigues me because my grandmother, though senile at the time, said we were descended from an ancient ancestor named Leif Ericstein. So I am just curious.

  • 46. Sad But True  |  September 19, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Your Testament is Sad but true and the truth and your intentions are exposed to the whole world now . Seek and ye shall find. Thank You

  • 47. Chris  |  October 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Too bad you probably forgot to remember all the good feelings you felt when on your mission, or when you were married. it’s easy to get pissed at life and blame everyone or everything but yourself. Are you still a Christian? Because we have no proof of the resurrection, but we do KNOW that it happened. it takes faith my friend, you might want to think twice about that.

  • 48. SnugglyBuffalo  |  October 9, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Too bad good feelings don’t mean a damn thing about the truth of anything.

  • 49. Kevin Parkin  |  October 20, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Why did you stop at 33 and why did you limit yourself to such pedestrian complaints? With all due respect, you sound like a 10 year old listing the disparaging characteristics of broccoli (which happens to rate 100 on the Overall Nutritional Quality Index).

    Your reason #1: King James’ scholars copied 70% from William Tinsdale’s Bible who virtually invented ‘old english’. This old English was old even in King James time; it was used to give the bible a certain nobility; though one might conclude that the words of God, or at least of His prophets, would be noble regardless of the phrasology. It is interesting to note that many fundamentalist Christians believe that God Himself dictated the bible including all those iconic sayings invented by Tinsdale (like: Blessed are the meak for they shall …).

    When Joseph Smith, age 21, translated Mormon’s plates and recognized Isaiah’s words in the section ‘2nd Nephi’, he simply transcribed what was already accepted as Isaiah–from Tinsdale’s bible. Clearly, Isaiah did not actually talk or write the way Tinsdale wrote–in old English. Nor did Nephi or Mormon or any other prophet speak or write in old English; but, thanks to Tinsdale, we 16th through 21st century Christians tend to speak religiously in Tinsdalian old English.

    One of my professors from the University of Utah (he was Persian and not Christian) said, “I don’t know who wrote The Book of Mormon, but I do know that it was not written by a 19th century english speaking American.” The text, despite the old English shadowing, contains too many Jewish and eastern idioms and literary structures to have been written by a frontier American.

    Furthermore, the Terra Cotta army remained undiscovered for 22 centuries. So, someone from 386, or 1049, or 1492, or 1972 could say that this army of clay men does not exist. That person would be wrong, of course. The non-discovery of artifacts does not mean that the artifacts do not exist, you moron.

    Your reason #17: Speach delivery or oration technique is a curious characterisitc. Hitler nailed it. Bin Laden is so good at it that he convinces otherwise smart people to fly jet aircraft into office buildings. David Letterman’s “Presidential Speaches” highlights George Bush’s failure at it. His deadpan delivery unconsequentializes even the best speaches written by some very gifted speach writers about some very consequential topics. Go figure. Some LDS Apostles are good at speach delivery, most are not, in my opinion.

    Of course, the bigger question is “Why was Jesus so bad at it?” If He was ‘The Word’ and with God from the beginning and the creator of all things, then why couldn’t He speak sufficiently to persuade His audience of who He was and what He was about? Oh sure, a few poor discheveled people believed–long enough to get a free meal–but by and large, He was a gigantic failure at speach.

    Your reason #22: Look, let’s get real. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. Or put differently, America is the land of the poor and the home of the slave. As great as America is today, it remains flawed; although less flawed than in its past. Yes. all men are created equal, but Jefferson (himself not a great speaker) defined women and black people out of the word ‘man’. For Heaven sake, Martin Luther King’s civil rights crusade was only 40 years ago! How naive are you to not acknowledge that frontier, 19th century, pre-civil war pioneers will have provincial, narrow minded philosophies about all kinds of things?

    Interestingly, Apostle Mark Petersen (a product of racially divided 1930’s to 1960’s American culture) was not in Salt Lake City when President Kimball called the Quorum of Apostles to the Temple to anounce (read that ‘vote’) on the revised policy regarding blacks and priesthood. The LDS Church’s ‘black’ policy never really involved skin color. Black Indians, or black Polynesians, or black Hispanics always were members of the priesthood. It was the africans, the negros who were barred from priesthood. Now, you may say that I am splitting hairs; but, so too was Jefferson.

    I hate racism: I hate the fact that the Rwandans killed each other because of tribal competition; I hate that the Iranian Persians want to anihilate the Iraqi Arabs; I hate that the French wanted to destroy the British (in the 17th century) and that the German Nazi’s wanted to destroy everybody! I hate that America is a land of gun violence, and drug addiction, and poverty, and illiteracy, and violence against women. I hate that the indictments of Kruchev and Kim Jong and Mao against America are/were true. The rich do get richer and the poor do get poorer, etc, etc. Sure, the LDS Church should have ordained black bishops in Georgia and Mississippi in the 1950’s, and the United States of America should have stood up to southern racism long before it did. Furthermore, the land of the free and the home of the brave should not have imprisoned tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry out of fear. But, I am not in charge of this country nor am I in charge of rewriting the past.

    Your reason #29: When 12 year old Jimmy told 11 year old Mary Sue that she was ugly, she ran home crying. Some how his comment mattered to her. Now, she has two options: 1) as a 20 or 30 or 40 year old woman, she could hold onto that terse, curse comment and be a frightened, paralysized wreck or 2) she could tell Jimmy to ‘go jump in a lake’. John, you “took years” to realise that you aren’t ugly–boo hoo.

    All kinds of Parental systems (religion is one of several Parental systems) instill anxiety, guilt, and remorse in the hearts and minds of its subordinates (including the Marine Corps). Grow up! Go to therapy! Stop giving other people power over your ego and esteem.

    So, why did you stop at 33 and limit yourself to such pedestrian complaints? Look, I can tirade against coloquial Mormon doctine and philosophy and history better than you can (I know things about church history that would make your toes curl or jaw drop or whatever the expression is). But, if contemplating time and space and creation and eternal individuality are valid topics of thought, then how best to address it? The religious vocabulary is notoriously vague.

    Religion as a whole is a pretty tough row to hoe. All religions invent a super hero (not so much Buddahism, but all the others do). Secularism looks for super heros, too: Batman, Superman, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Jason Bourne, McGiver; the list goes on. Christianity’s super hero is Jesus. Have you ever seen born again Christian TV? Its nausiating. Jesus this and Jesus that. Its snake oil packaged as Jesus. We have all heard the arguement that Paganism is the root of Chritianity. As the story goes, a 14 year old girl, Mary, is ‘sold’ to a 35 year old Joseph. He paid her parents a dowery so they called it ‘betrothed’ not ‘sold’. Later, she gets knocked-up by her teenage boyfriend and the whole betrothed thing is off so the parents have to return the dowery. Unless, they invent an excuse. You know the rest. And believe it or not, the Catholics eat this stuff up. They even pray to Mary!

    Jesus’ super hero status is compounded when He borrows a phrase from Roman coins. Our money says ‘In God We Trust'; Roman money said “Ceasar, Son of God”. So, itinerate preacher Jesus becomes Jesus Son of God. Though He is not such a great speaker, one guy who never actually met Him picks up His cause and runs with it; he is a great speaker (i.e. Paul).

    Now that I have insulted good Americans and devout Christians everywhere by illustrating a few elementary problems with America and Christianity, let me conclude by paraphrasing Joseph Smith himself: “I know that what I am proposing is well nigh preposterous; if it had not happened to me I would not believe it myself”. He went on to organize a religion that is both mainstream (if you consider Christianity main stream) and unique (time and space and creation and eternal individuality). Like Jefferson, he gave the Church some good fundamentals (ancient fundamentals from Moses and Abraham and Elijah) and a frame work to improve itself. Your 33 thesese need to be adressed either locally or globally, but in the end, they are rather minor irritants. America has lots of minor irritants and some not so minor. But, I still belive in America.

  • 50. Barter Town  |  October 20, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Joseph Smith was just another charismatic cult leader, no different than your typical Warren Jeffs or David Koresh who spring up from time to time. The fact that his church has completely changed since his time (gone “mainstream”, as you put it) doesn’t change that fact.

    It is so easy to discredit the LDS church. All you need is a passing interest in history. Or archaeology, or linguistics, or any sense of intellectual honesty.

    The Book of Mormon is so historically wrong it’s laughable. Sorry guys, but the ancient Americas didn’t have steel weapons, or armor, or chariots (the wheel hadn’t even been invented in ancient America, and wasn’t even known in the Western hemisphere until Columbus brought it), or horses, elephants, domesticated pigs, goats, and cattle, or crops of wheat and barley, or silk, or a currency based on precious metals — none of these things were present in ancient America, anywhere. But they are all present in, yep, the Book of Mormon, which purports to be a history of, you guessed it, the Americas.

    Think about it for a minute. These are major, major items. If there were horses in ancient America, as the Book of Mormon claims, then why is there no depiction of them on any artifacts from that era? No mention of horses (or chariots, cows, wheat, swords, battle armor, etc. etc.) on pottery, on stone tablets, on temples, or on virtually anything at all. Surely the major civilizations of the ancient Americas — the Inca, the Maya, the Aztec, or any of the thousands of tribes in the 10,000+ year history (at least) of the inhabitants of the American continent, surely somebody would have incorporated, or inherited, such useful and advantageous things as horses, chariots, steel, wheels, etc. Surely someone would have interacted with such a technologically advanced civilization as the Lamanites & Nephites, who numbered several hundred thousand, according to the BoM.

    And that is another problem. How could Lehi’s family grow into a civilization of several hundred thousand in just 1000 years (the time-span of the BoM)? Such a growth rate in a pre-industrialized era is ridiculous, and wasn’t even reached anywhere in the world, historically, until the late 20th century.

    Moreover, none of the languages of native Americans are in any way related to languages of the Middle East, where Lehi and his family migrated from. The Book or Mormon era (600 BC – 421 AD) wasn’t very long ago, archaeologically speaking, and certainly isn’t enough time for a language to evolve into oblivion. Certainly a civilization as technologically advanced, populous, and recent as the Nephites / Lamanites would have some trace of their language in that of their ancestors? Fact is, there is no connection whatsoever between any native American language and any Middle Eastern language.

    Not to mention that DNA has verified what anthropologists and archaeologists have known for quite some time, that native American ancestors migrated from Asia. There is no trace of any Middle Eastern DNA in native American populations. Again, surely such a powerful civilization (they were the only people with horses, steel, and the wheel!) as the Nephites / Lamanites would have intermingled / intermarried with other civilizations and left some trace of their DNA? This was only 1600 years ago, surely there is some genetic record of their existence?

    Sadly, there is not. Neither is there any linguistic, archaeological, historical, textual, mythological, or any otherwise biological evidence of such a civilization. The only place one can know about such an incredibly advanced and rapidly-reproducing civilization is in the Book of Mormon itself.

    Moreover, the fact that the original papyri Joseph Smith translated as the Book of Abraham (also regarded as scripture by the LDS church) isn’t, in fact, a Hebrew record of Abraham at all, but a common Egyptian funeral text, as verified by virtually any Egyptologist who examines it, doesn’t exactly bolster Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon claims.

    I’ll give credit where credit is due — Joseph Smith suckered a lot of people into believing he was a bona-fide prophet. But then again, so did Warren Jeffs. And any other number of other hucksters who fancied themselves as God’s chosen leader bearing the only “true” message for mankind.

    In my experience, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I grew up LDS, served a mission, graduated institute, the whole nine. But I’d rather know the truth than continue being deluded. As it stands now, I don’t believe in any religion and in fact regard religion in general as a social invention of man, completely unnecessary in this day and age for the advancement of mankind, a remnant of the past with an expiration date that is long overdue.

    Does God exist? Maybe. Maybe not. But you can’t tell me you “know” something I don’t just because you’ve emotionally convinced yourself that this particular religion is “true”. If it works for you, fine. It’s a fine religion, nowadays. Long gone is the polygamy, racism, secessionism, and commune-ism of the early church. In fact, if Joseph Smith or Brigham Young saw the church today, they would barely recognize it. It’s perfectly respectable now.

    So, keep on believing that the revelations in the Doctrine & Covenants are from the Judeo-Christian God himself, discussing with Joseph Smith the unacceptable behavior of his wife Emma and various other disobedient congregation members. Keep on believing that this particular God is personally represented today by a former sales manager living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Keep on giving your time, energy and 10% of your income to the church. You’re not hurting anyone. Your religion is no more ridiculous than any other religion out there.

  • 51. Kevin Parkin  |  October 22, 2008 at 11:52 am

    In response to Nadine’s comment #36: Some people can’t see the forest from the trees. The Free Masons (a coalition of brick contractors–Jesus was a brick contractor and a carpenter) got their rites from the same source that Joseph Smith got the temple rites. Joseph Smith did not invent truth (the temple endowment); Divinity gave it to him. This same Divinity gave it to other people before giving it to Smith. As the Masonic order wound its way through the centuries, some things were lost or changed or overlooked, much like Christianity itself. Eventually Washington and Jefferson and Adams learned of Masonry and joined in as did Smith. For a 19th or 21st century person to begin practicing Christianity does not mean the he or she is stealing Christianity from Paul or Peter or Mathew; it means he or she is picking up the torch, as it were, and running with it.

    Yes, Smith did hope that some Masons were in the mob at Carthage which is why he yelled out the Masonic distress signal, “Is there no mercy for a widow’s son?” But, no Masons had the balls to break ranks and defend one of their own.

    As for Smith’s reputation, you obviously don’t get out much or read much. A whole host of Church sponsored writers have been digging into Smith’s history for four decades and have seen writing thier findings. These books don’t make the Times best sellers list, but they are there to read and are filled with warts and all. I suppose the Jews would be surprised or outright shocked to know the true reputation and actions of their boy Moses. (Current historical analyst acknowledge there is zero archelogical evidence of the Exodus and furthermore that Moses was no shrinking violet Hebrew slave; he was Pharoah’s army general. When Pharoah died, the new Pharoah didn’t want foreighners running the army so he demoted Moses and all ranking officers most of whom were Hebrew. Americans feel the same way about foreighners running their affairs.) And you don’t really think that Jesus was the puritanical momma’s boy that Mathew, Mark and Luke make him out to be, do you? And, by the way, you do realize that Washington and Jefferson were slave owners, right? Pull your head out of the sand!

  • 52. Kevin Parkin  |  October 23, 2008 at 2:39 am

    I run a small business, so reading your comments is like reading the comics as the end of a hard day, but your comments are more entertaining than any comic ever was.

    The other night on 20/20, contrarian John Stossel interviewed several college students on the upcoming Obama / McCain election; only one question was asked: How many states are in The United States of America? He urged each student ,who did not know the answer, to please DON’T VOTE! I agree with Stossel. I don’t want people that stupid selecting my Commander-in-Chief. Think about it. After serious reflection, General Colin Powell will vote Obama as will many other serious minded people. Five other former Secretaries of State and 20 Army Generals have declared their vote to McCain. But, any 18 year old, has the same vote power as these careful, introspective, experienced, well informed professionals. 18 year olds can barely drive a car, most of them can’t punctuate a sentence (my sister teaches high school english-she knows), they’ve never run a business or bought real estate, they don’t know what role The Fed plays in the US economy and many of them don’t know that America has 50 states!

    Many of the comments in this blog, including John Andersen’s, sound like they are coming from 18 year olds. My hope for the election is that all the stupid peoples’ votes cancel each other out. My hope for this blog is that the readers excercise at least the most rudimentary level of thought and analysis.

    Regarding Comment #50: You bone head; The Book of Mormon is NOT a history of the Americas; it is a family journal. It is only a family journal. It is a collection of personal thoughts, impressions, sermons, anecdotes, individual experiences and, yes, testimonials. Nephi’s original collection of journal entries was passed through his extended family for about 350 years when it was turned over to another family-Benjamin’s, who in turn passed it throughout his family. Eventually, the collection wound up in Mormon’s hands.

    These personal entries do include several references of the society at large, but the collection is by no means a history of that society. The Old Testament is, similarly, a family history of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his 12 sons. That family lived in a larger Hebrew society. Nephi’s family lived among a larger, preexisting American society. To suppose that the entire continent was void of other people is preposterous. China thrived for centuries before Marco Polo ‘discovered’ it. India, Japan, Pacific Islands all had populations about which the Bible says nothing. But the Bible isn’t their book; it is Abrahams’ family book. I suppose that other families from other places and other times wrote about their experiences as well.

    In 1903, my 9 year old grandfather arrived at Ellis Island from Norway and in one generation (my mom) every body speaks English. Amazing! There are no Norwegian words, dances, food, clothing, customs what-so-ever in my experince as an American. Nephi-a displaced Jew-wrote about his hometown, but once the imigrant group died off, the family melted into the society at large. I suppose that in 1600 years my decendants will have a very hard time detecting any Norwegian DNA in their bodies. Some bozo may even try convincing them that Hans Hobberstad never really existed; he would be wrong.

    The pseudo intelectualizing that some of you indulge in relative to religion and to Latter Day Saintism can be an entertaining pastime like spin-the-bottle, but for some of you it is more like spin-the-revolver (did you see The Puppet Man on Heros last week?) Observations can be measured, recorded, objectified. Observations are often interpretted as evidence and evidence is further interpretted as proof. The problem with these interpretations is that they are frequently wrong. “If the glove does not fit you must acquit” is a gross misinterpretation of an observation. If the glove does not fit (observation) then OJ may or may not be innocent. The non-fitting of the glove is an insuffiently compelling observation to conclude one way or the other. On the other hand (no pun intended), many hundreds of innocent people are in prison in America because juries inappropriately misinterpretted observations as evidence then as proof.

    A rancher arrives home and sees his young son lying all bloody on the floor, moaning. Lying next to the boy is the family dog with blood all over his muzzle. The Rancher grabs the dog, takes it outside and shoots it. He then scoups up his son and carries him to the kitchen sink where he discovers a dead coyote lying all mangled in the corner. And, the rancher realized that he just killed his son’s protector.

    Drawing conclusions from tenuous observations is a dangerous business; if you want to run through this minefield then do it alone, don’t drag other people with you. Or play spin-the-revolver solo.

  • 53. VorJack  |  October 23, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Kevin – “I suppose the Jews would be surprised or outright shocked to know the true reputation and actions of their boy Moses.”

    Not likely. Many of the Biblical minimalists are Jewish. Isreal Finkelstein is probably the most famous archeologist to state that the Exodus never happened, and he’s a Jewish man teaching at Tel Aviv University.

    ” … he was Pharoah’s army general. … demoted Moses and all ranking officers … ”

    Excuse me, but where is this coming from? You’ve just acknowledged that there is not archeological evidence for the Exodus. There’s also no evidence outside of the book of Exodus for the existence of Moses, Joseph, et. al. If there’s a lack of evidence, where are you getting this story from?

    “It is a collection of personal thoughts, impressions, sermons, anecdotes, individual experiences …”

    … and hallucinations? I can’t think of another way that the book would discuss elephants and chariots that weren’t there.

    “In 1903, my 9 year old grandfather arrived at Ellis Island from Norway and in one generation (my mom) every body speaks English. Amazing!”

    Not really. America, at the time, was focused on assimilating immigrants as quickly as possible into the dominant culture. But in prehistoric north america, there was no dominant culture. There were multiple tribes, clans, languages, territories, etc. A goodly sized tribe of immigrants could easily maintain their own kin group, language and traditions. In fact, I suspect that they would be expected to – there’s no indication that the existing tribes attempted to adsorb other tribes as the came in from the north. The analogy just doesn’t work.

  • 54. JDL  |  November 16, 2008 at 5:53 am

    Elder Neal A.Maxwell of the Council of the Twelve Apostles noted and prophesied that we “may even see a few leave the Church who cannot then leave the Church alone. Let these few departees take their brief bows in the secular spotlight;
    someday they will bow deeply before the throne of
    the Almighty, confessing that Jesus is the Christ and
    that this is his work. Meanwhile, be unsurprised if, as
    the little stone seen by Daniel rolls relentlessly forth,
    some seek to chip away at it (see Dan. 2).”

    (Conference Report, Oct. 1980, p. 17; or Ensign, Nov.
    1980, p. 14.)

  • 55. Josh  |  November 16, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    That’s not a prophecy, its just common sense.

  • 56. Digital Dame  |  November 16, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Amen, Josh.

  • 57. INTJ Mom  |  November 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Um, Kevin? Masonry didn’t even come into existence until quite a long time after Jesus died.

  • 58. Len K  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Celia Marks November 1983
    Were they inscriptions? I think so. When you say an ‘inscription’ that is a rather vague term, right? As I understand it, inscription could mean anything from a simple mark, or scratch to a written word. Were they as powerful as words? I do not think so. Inscriptions often retain great meaning; even through sometimes inscriptions are far from word-like in structure. Elaborate epigraphic markings on wood or stone have been known to convey abstract meanings, emotions, or even to enlighten. On an armrest of an old chair some deep marks made with fingernails conveyed great meaning and emotion, so could one call them inscriptions?

    The chair was run of the mill, a chair made of synthetic leather, black, bonded together with staples. The outer armrests, wood shaped into a half-crescent, so one could comfortably rest an arm or hand. The dreary chair was bland, built more for an office than a home, but that’s what Dad and Irene saw fit to embellish their mobile home with in Clearlake around 1971. A quarter century later He disposed of the decrepit chair simply by leaving it on the driveway of his Riverside home so someone could steal it.

    From 1983 on a hand palpitating the hand rest of the chair could feel deep uneven serrations and indentations that had been scratched onto the armrest. The indentations were a quarter inch deep, about the same on both armrests. Everyone sitting in the chair noted them, and asked how the anomalous marks came to be. Many figured a child carved them with a knife. Everyone who asked was informed that they were ‘Celia Marks,’ and some were told an interesting story.

    It was Thanksgiving Day. I arrived before Celia and Co. I helped Dad move furniture around and chopped wood for the fireplace as Irene fretted in the kitchen. They were apprehensive, but for the most part their apprehensiveness remained concealed. They were fretting about minute details, family photos had to be cleaned, all the books on the book case aligned, towels in the bath roomed had to be arranged ‘just so’, it seemed every corner of the house must be perfect. This all stemmed from their nervousness, a condition I was fully sympathetic to.

    Dad’s numerous framed Norman Rockwell prints on nearly every wall of the home spoke about his values as did numerous family pictures. For him the home was the real temple, earning a house displayed good work values; from that house creating a home was a sacred act, an undertaking approximating the divine itself. Irene’s obsession about hearth and home, a home always looking like it could be photographed in Better Homes & Gardens spoke about her values. Her values were simple, ‘you love and support your adult children, spoil your grandchildren, and in particular you keep the commandment about parents.’ These were values they had to a degree before they joined the Church, but became paramount in the years after they joined, as manifested by their changed lifestyles. Herman and Irene, sought average relations with all their children

    Irene’s daughter had other values. Irene’s daughter Celia was known as a professional business woman, a sophisticated social butterfly, and an incorrigible religious fanatic. Without respite Celia had been trying to convert Dad and Irene to her fundamentalist religion. Celia’s constant crusades had produced year or two long estrangements between Mother and child. Over time Celia surmised Dad and Irene would not be displace from their faith so it was vital that Dad and Irene divorce, after all, according to their dogma Dad and Irene were ‘unevenly yoked’ and lost in a cult, meaning any and all belief system’s not fundamentalist. Over time that had become her concerted agenda. Motivated by her convictions there had been endless manipulations, setup situations which all served to create those year or two long estrangements between mother-daughter. On another far deeper level Celia’s hidden agenda was for financial motives, as Celia felt all Dad and Irene’s property and possessions really belonged to her. Dad, the step-father was an impediment to that elusive pie-in-the-sky. Years before I was offered as a viable reason they should divorce, now that I was an adult on my own the reasons offered were exclusively religious. There had been a recent thawing, as witness by the fact that Celia and family were all arriving for the Thanksgiving holiday.

    As the in-laws arrived social niceties effectively balmed over deep seated feelings. Shallow talk consumed Dad’s Riverside home, serving to put everyone at ease. Celia’s three boys, 17, 18 and 19 talked about high school, the men talked football, and the women busied themselves in the kitchen. In all there were eight in-laws. For over an hour insignificant conversation slowly calmed everyone. In time Irene sported a pleasant optimism that all would remain pleasant, and everyone and everything would be hunky-dory. Such naive notion poised against the veracity of malevolent intention lends itself to often painful realizations. This particular holiday, true to form, Celia, her husband Richard, Carmen his wife Annette, a friend named Lea and the three boys had envisioned a new devise for marital discord. Their scheme was not yet revealed, but most assuredly soon would be. Days before Dad admitted that Celia could not go long without some nefarious devise for discord raising its head. I had seen it enough times before, parental hopes and aspirations for ‘good kids’ did not cloud my vision.

    I had been rather alienated for some time from Dad and Irene, the relationship strained for other reasons, but recently they had invited me to several Church functions, and Irene had made me pie. I suspect this is why both Irene and Dad pushed for me to come to their holiday meal, as a buffer, bastion against Celia and Co. ”We would like you to come, Celia and Carman will be at the house, and well, we are rather edgy about it.” Irene, after 3 years had renewed relations some months before with Celia. Their last falling out, in Irene’s terms, was now a, ‘forgive and forget memory. This was, in my view the case at least until the next scheme was made apparent. It was all a game, a dance they had played for decades, and the next one was about to be played out after Thanksgiving dinner at Dad and Irene’s Riverside home.

    Dad, about 1983

    Before dinner Dad’s Home Teachers arrived. Celia the ever-so-consummate professional was pleasant, as were the other in-laws. They chatted amicably with the Home Teachers about work and other trivia. The taller Home Teacher was a very successful businessman. He was well to do, owning several businesses, but humble about it, something I admire. The other home Teacher, a generational comrade of my Fathers, retired, short, aged, but keenly sharp did most of the talking. He briefly joined Dad and Irene in the front room. The man imparted wisdom through his wit, his awareness of the scope of Dad and Irene’s situation was conveyed by every comment he made, every comment, no matter how seemingly trivial was pregnant with sagacious understanding.

    Underneath Celia and Co. seethed in discomfort, being in a home with a few too many LDS folk. After a pleasant visit Dad and I accompanied the Home Teachers to the driveway, away from the family guests. “Are you all going to be alright?” asked the perceptive Home Teacher. “I have dealt with these people for a long time” said Dad, “And My son here, is a 6’5” a safeguard if they start something.” The Home Teacher firmly grasped Dads hand; “I have dealt with such folk a time or two as well.” Through mature in years, he was a most discerning Home Teacher. The man knowing glance gave away his keen awareness of Dad’s familial dilemma. Shaking my hand he added, “Don’t leave your parents to the wolves.” The Home Teacher offered his comment with a wink and nod; it was a half-joke. Like my father, old, bend but still substantial, the Home Teacher departed.

    Celia, 1983

    After dinner, but before dessert the men sat in the front room pontificating about nothing of import as Celia and Irene finished dishes; both women being the type, for better for worse who could not sit down after a meal until their kitchen was immaculate. I could hear the dishes clatter women chatter, as the men talked. I was 22 and recently out of the CCC. I had no fondness for any of Irene’s progeny, but to please Dad I showed up. Her two children and their brood lived in a ‘really good part’ of Orange County, letting all know about it. Whatever acclamations they assigned to themselves I took without displaying deference, which they took as a blatant lack of respect for their perceived station in life. The three boys and Lea were in the other room watching TV, to be specific televangelist, as the ‘big game’ was over. Dad was indifferent to football, and when it came to televangelist Dad would not allow such swill in his home, finding it an absolute mockery. At present he was out of earshot of the video vicars. It was one of the foibles of their religion. Briefly in the room I watched the flickering images on the screen, the cotton-candy haired lady, the guy who looking embalmed, both who’s verbal parsimoniousness denoted their immense disdain for education. Those preachers ‘scream out’ to be made fun of, and self-control on my part is a virtue I lack, but I managed to bite my tongue, that time. My only wonder is how any self-respecting individual could take such protracted rhetorical jive seriously.

    Celia came in the front room and asked if they could have an ‘open-minded Bible study.’ The men, including my father agreed. With a quick glance Dad conveyed he would deal with them, for the moment, unaided by me. Irene was finishing drying dishes and the sound of the oven door opening told me pies were in the oven. I will give Celia credit; like her mother, she made fine pies, pies worth hanging around for. Celia announcing such a theological activity was peculiar, but for some reason it had been agreed on before my arrival by Dad and Irene.

    I was perceptive enough to know there was nothing ‘open-minded’ in any ecclesial dialogue with these in-laws. I knew all along he knew some type of hidden agenda would manifest itself, so at least the scheme was becoming apparent. Celia sat down in that chair. The boys left the TV room and joined in. In unison Celia, Richard, Annette, Carman, Lea and the boys opened their Bibles, coincidently to the same chapter and verse. They were smug, but quietly smug. They were solders girded for battle, confident, brazen. Dad sat quietly, silent, appearing cornered. I sat silently as Irene finished up in the kitchen. They read their Bible verse, and only one verse. They read it as an exclusive mandate,-the final word. With resolute self-confidence they confronted Dad, figuring a lack of theological knowledge coupled with an abundance of collective bravado on their part would corner him, rendering him mute, and maybe, hopefully, acquiescent. Without missing a beat Dad quoted from memory the next several verses, then became silent. The ensuing silence was deafening. With a few verses quoted from memory he utterly exposed their idiosyncratic altering of the meaning they assigned that one verse; a verse clearly taken out of context. His articulate response confounded them; his elucidation unanticipated. Befuddled, they were, for the moment rendered wordless, mortified. Their faces flushed, they struggled for composure. In allayed silence Dad patiently awaited a rejoinder he knew could not come. Celia was rendered the most visceral. Her eyes torrid, her face crimson, she grasped the arms of the chair; her sturdy fingernails grinding into the malleable wood. It was the only malleable item in the home. Celia took advantage of that fact, her sturdy fingernails grinding into the wood. If a chair could scream, that chair would have done so in agony. The Celia marks were forever stamped on the chair, inscriptions that conveyed great meaning. Elaborate epigraphic markings on wood or stone have been known to convey abstract meanings, emotions, or even to enlighten. Irene, smiling, pleasant and oblivious strolled into the front room, still drying her hands with a dish towel as Celia, Carman, Richard, Annette, Lea and the boys dispensed smug glances between themselves, closing their Bibles in unison. “Has the Bible study started yet?” asked a beaming Irene as she plopped into a vacant chair, entirely unaware it was finished before it began.

    An abundance of apple, pumpkin, and especially peach pie was there for me to take home as Irene’s progeny left within 20 minutes, pies forgotten. Dad that day had been in a form characteristic of him, nothing atypical in his reaction. Was his conduct opprobrious? I don’t know. I do know it was not a self-serving characteristic of him to cast down any gauntlet, but it was characteristic of him to have sturdy elastic net always at the ready in case someone else does.

    It was at least two years before any of that bunch was seen again. Dad told me the Home Teacher came by the next month. Sitting in the chair he noted the carvings. When told what had happened the Home Teacher said, ‘There was a shadowy rage in that woman’s eyes.” For years many people felt the marks under the armrest, Dad and Irene often explaining their origin to others who noticed them when on the injured chair. Over the years the marks became more an item of absurd, laughable silliness, time rendered it more a subject of vagarious humor, to all but me. You see the Home Teachers words disturb me. I know something surpassing normal psychology animated Celia, as no matter how hard I, or Dad tried, no one, except Celia has been sufficiently enraged or strong enough to drive fingernails that deep into that wood to leave an inscription.

  • 59. Anonymous  |  November 18, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    mormanism is just another cult, i would have left them in a heartbeat

  • 60. Bamboozled « Blue Lyon  |  November 18, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    [...] H/T de-conversion [...]

  • 61. Corajudd  |  November 19, 2008 at 3:15 am

    Great article. Given a little time, I’m sure any “dyed in the wool” ex-Mormons could double or triple this list. The follow-up comments are interesting as well.

    I, too, left the Mormon church after being raised in it. Accepting that the Mormon church is an invention is the only way to get rid of those endless persistent doubts and questions and fully embrace the only life one has.

    Changing my mind about the church being untrue would be as easy as going back to the joyful optimism I had at 7 and Santa Claus was on his way. I could try real hard but the truth can’t be ignored. There must be a term for the fact that a person simply can’t close his or her eyes to newly acquired clarity (no Santa, no magic, no golden plates). Psychiatrists call the refusal to do so delusional.

    Being a Mormon for 25 years never once felt as good as being free of the church does every day of my reclaimed life!

  • 62. mrlucidity  |  November 20, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    An interesting note about the supposed DNA evidence that disproves the Book of Mormon. The publisher of that research was a botanical geneticist(a plant scientist) and not a human geneticist. Does it sound like he is qualified to make a conclusive argument either way on the matter? Also, he was an excommunicated member of the LDS church. Can any evidence he provides be seen as an objective analysis free of ideological bias?

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.

    “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (KJV, Isaiah 55:8–9).

  • 63. Josh  |  November 20, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    “The publisher of that research was a botanical geneticist(a plant scientist) and not a human geneticist.”

    Are you serious?

    My guess is you are neither, and my guess is that you claim to have some authority about the ultimate purpose in the universe. At least genetics is basically the same between plants and humans.

    I do not see how your ability to find a potential flaw with a geneticists discoveries due to a supposed flaw in his credentials – and not his research – backs up your claims about meta-physics.

  • 64. Valkyrie  |  December 3, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Great post. I hope your transition from Mormonism has not caused family and friends to completely abandon you. I know that is not out of the question with many of the members. May you find happiness in your life as you live it the way YOU see fit.

    To the Mormons posting here:

    This is not a place where you will have much luck converting people or “reprimanding” them for leaving the Mormon faith. The poster has every right to say his personal reasons for leaving the Mormon church whether or not you agree with them or they are factually true. The bottom line is, you believe things about your religion. He happens to not believe those same things. Get over yourselves. DV, he doesn’t state that he needs the “true church” either, so don’t tell him he has to point out which is. Many people are able to live their lives without religion.

    And finally, “not being able to leave the church alone” is a fancy way of saying “people will say bad things about us, but LALALALA WE CAN’T HEAR THEM.”

  • 65. Anonymous  |  December 4, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Well first off, when you were a part of the church, you should believe in the story of Joseph Smith. If you don’t believe this, you probably didn’t believe in half of the stuff the church teaches. Not only that, but if you don’t believe in that story then you aren’t ready for a mission, which doesn’t make you a good missionary. Oh, and your Jeffrey R. Holland comment was a stupid thing of you to say. He briefly stated what a mission should be like if you really want to serve the Lord. It sounds like to me like you didn’t really want to go on a mission. And a missionary isn’t judged by how many people he/she baptized. They are judged by how well they served and how well they love the Lord. You should know this being a “good” missionary.

  • 66. erick  |  December 24, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Why would I trust man to tell me whats right. The Holy Bible is complete as it is. I don’t need to know what Joe smith or any other human being is doing or has done. The bible tells me that i can have a personal relationship with God through Jesus.

  • 67. BigHouse  |  December 24, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Why would I trust man to tell me whats right. The Holy Bible is complete as it is.

    This is a neat trick! Don’t trust man, but trust a book written by…MAN!

    How DO they do it?

  • 68. Quester  |  December 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    The bible tells me that i can have a personal relationship with God through Jesus.

    Really? Which verse?

  • 69. LeoPardus  |  December 24, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    erick:

    I’m with Quester. Very curious to see you produce some verse(s).

  • 70. Joe Woolsey  |  January 2, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    My dad, sisters, brother and nephew are all mormans and are constantly trying to get me to become one. There are a lot of things that I like about the mormans, the way the look out for one another and the way they stress self-reliance on thier members. But I can’t get past the fact that they didn’t allow blacks to the priesthood unitl 1978 and if it were legal to do so, they would still have multiple wifes. Whenever something becomes illegal or socially unacceptable they change and say that thier false prophets had a revelation from God to change. Drinking coffee in moderation has been proven to be an antioxidant which is good for the body. The stuff they come up with is very questionable, and its always a revelation from God. I plan on sticking with what Billy Graham says and that is Jesus Christ is the only way… I had a LDS Bishop tell me that getting babtized by Billy Graham would be like getting a drivers licence from JC Penny. WHAT ARROGANCE!!!! Mormans are good people and do alot of good in thier community but they need to chill alittle and be more respectful of non-mormans.

  • 71. Connie  |  January 3, 2009 at 4:29 am

    First, Joe, (comment # 70) I would like to encourage you and everyone’s posts on here who are against the Mormon church, to actually READ the Book of Mormon! No, not the critiques, the anti-stuff, but to take the actual book in your hands (and not dwell on biased opinions) and read it with a sincere desire to know for yourself that it is true. There is a POWERFUL promise in the back of the book, Moroni 10: 3-5, that anyone who does this with true, real intent, will not only receive a witness that it is true, but will also know the truth of all things! I have read this book many times throughout my life, and it has influenced me for good. There has not been any problem that I haven’t had, that this book has not helped to direct me, and still continues to direct me, in the right way.
    This book has power! Who doesn’t need power in their life to make right choices, to feel love in their hearts, to overcome addictions, to have the power to overcome anger and develop love and forgiveness? Who doesn’t have problems? Who doesn’t need power to deal with marriage/family challenges, work endeavors, or enemies in your life? Anyone who picks up this book and actually reads it in its entirety, with a true sincere desire to know truth from God, (and not in a spirit of anger, hate, or fault-finding) can not deny that it testifies of Christ!! Who desires learning, and goes to High School, and says, “that’s it for me!” I have all the learning I ever need in my life! Who wants to learn more, and more, and desires to better themselves?

    Who has a car accident, and only wants one witness there in court for his trial? Isn’t your case more powerful if you have more than one witness? This book, in its purity, testifies that the Bible is true, and with a second hand, is another witness. The Savior, after he died on the cross and was resurrected, actually appeared to the people in ancient America, the other side of the world. These people witnessed the same star the wise men saw from the East, felt the holes from the nails in the Savior’s hands, (3rd Nephi 11) and actually witnessed that Jesus was and is the Christ!

    Anyone who actually does the experiment, and who is actually living the basic 10 commandments from God given to Moses in the Bible, who has the Lord’s true spirit in their hearts can not deny this book is true! It is simply black and white! It is not a gray issue. Either Joseph Smith, an uneducated farm boy, was a complete liar and somehow made the whole thing up, the Book of Mormon, the church, etc, or he was actually a true prophet, called by God to be his witness, to bring light and truth to the world.

    There are many things from the scriptures, including the Bible (Old Testament) that dumbfounds rationality. Why would the Lord command Abraham to kill his only son? In these days, he would be on trial for voluntary manslaughter. Yet, the Christian world still reveres the Bible and celebrates Christmas. We know and believe as Christians, that Abraham was commanded to do this as a trial of his faith. The Lord tested him; “to see if he would do all things that he commanded of him”. And we further read, that Abraham never did kill his son Isaac, as a fulfillment to God’s purpose. How can the virgin Mary conceive and give birth to baby Jesus? How could it be possible for angels to appear to shepherds? If this bugs you, along with thousands of irrational discrepancies, then don’t believe in the Savior, and don’t celebrate Christmas. You can’t prove religion. It is about faith. The Lord says in Isaiah 55:6-9
    Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near
    Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    :

    I am very sorry, Joe, that you and others out there have experienced arrogance from Mormons! To be honest with you, I have also, and am even currently experiencing it from even my own family members. (who are active church-goers who hold high positions) Unfortunately, there are no perfect people on this earth, including members and leaders of the LDS church. But, my faith is not about the members, the leaders, or even my siblings. IT IS about my relationship with deity and overcoming my trials and personal weaknesses. It is about receiving answers to deep heart-felt questions, and a guiding direction of light in my life. I believe what the scriptures say. “To trust in the Lord, and to doubt not, fear not”.

    There is another promise in the Book of Mormon. That is in so many words; “if you keep the commandments and do what is right, you will be blessed”. There is a power in righteous living, regardless of what your faith is or what your proclaimed religion is. I have personally witnessed this as I have made the study of the scriptures a lifetime pursuit.

    I also have many friends who are wonderful people, who are not members of the LDS church. Some of them, I believe, will be in heaven before some of the Mormons that I know. However, this does not take away my faith and testimony of the Book of Mormon, that it is a true book. Anyone who makes a serious study of it, and actually applies the principles taught in it to their lives, WILL be a better person with more power in their lives!

  • 72. Ubi Dubium  |  January 3, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Connie

    …I would like to encourage you and everyone’s posts on here who are against the Mormon church, to actually READ the Book of Mormon! No, not the critiques, the anti-stuff, but to take the actual book in your hands (and not dwell on biased opinions) and read it with a sincere desire to know for yourself that it is true.

    See, that’s the problem. You suggest we read it with a desire to know that it IS true, not with a desire to know WHETHER it is true. You are asking us to make an assumption about the book before reading it. That’s the kind of arrogance we are talking about.

    I don’t think it is fair to assume that the ex-mormons on this thread have not read their own book. I, as a non-mormon, have read a little of it myself, and I’ll go with the “Joseph Smith made the whole thing up” hypothesis.

  • 73. Connie  |  January 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Ubi:

    I am very sorry that you think I am arrogant. Developing more humility is certainly a Christ-like attribute that I am striving for more of in my life.

    If you would read the entire Book of Mormon, you will discover that it actually teaches us love and humility, the antidote to pride and arrogance. If you turn to page 220, it says this: (and the “ye” refers to all of us, including me)

    Are ye stripped of pride? I say unto you, if ye are not, ye are not prepared to meet God. Behold ye must prepare quickly, for the Kingodom of heaven is soon at hand, and such an one hath not eternal life.

    There are many more countless verses that also teach us about how we can develop more humility and charity toward others. This is what we can all strive for, regardless of our nationality or what our religion is. These teachings are for people not members of the LDS church, current members, and even those who have left the church. The teachings are for ALL of us! The introduction page says: “the purpose of the Book of Mormon is to help others come unto Christ. This book is not just for “Mormons” . It is for the entire world.

    Here are the exact words, and promise made (which is what I was originally referring to) in the back of the Book of Mormon

    (Moroni 10: 3-5) Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, IF (please excuse my incorrect word, Ubi, it actually says IF and not THAT) these things are not true; and IF ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

    Obviously, the guy who started this blog, and others, have their countless rational reasons for why they left the church. I am sure they could even write a book or even a novel about it.

    I am also sure that he and countless people can also dive in on the Book of Mormon, and take one sentence or verse statements, and try to contend with it. But this reference here is as clear as day. It says; “if ye shall ask God with a SINCERE HEART, with REAL intent, he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

    Here are some questions that I would like to ask you and all of you contenders concerning your beliefs.

    1. When you read the Book of Mormon, did you read it with a sincere heart?
    2. Did you read it with REAL INTENT to know IF it is true? Or did you pick up the book with the intent to find fault with it?
    3. Did you actually read the entire book, cover to cover?
    4. Have you tried to apply its teachings into your life?
    4. Did you pray to God to know IF it is true?
    5. Do you even read the Bible?
    6. Are you even a Christian?
    7. Do you even believe in and live the basic 10 commandments?

    These are questions that only you can personally answer. If your answer is “no” to any of these, really, your issue is with a lack of faith, and not the Book of Mormon or the LDS church.

    I can truthfully answer yes to the above questions. Like all of us, I am far from perfect and have tons of weaknesses. But every day that I mess up, I try to get back on my feet, and strive to do better. I also try to forgive others’ mistakes in the process. I really believe that if everyone, from every religion, would try and just focus on improving their own flaws, and try to have more love in their hearts toward others,(and apply the Christian teachings into our lives) we would all live in a happier, more peaceful world.

  • 74. Ubi Dubium  |  January 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    OK, I’ll answer:

    1. When you read the Book of Mormon, did you read it with a sincere heart?
    What do you mean by “sincere heart”? Does that mean “deciding in advance that the book is true”?

    2. Did you read it with REAL INTENT to know IF it is true? Or did you pick up the book with the intent to find fault with it?
    I picked it up with the intent of seeing how the beliefs of the mormons did or did not match those of other christians.

    3. Did you actually read the entire book, cover to cover?
    No. I read enough to realize it is a human book, just like all other books that claim divine inspiration. I’m working my way through the Koran now.

    4. Have you tried to apply its teachings into your life?
    Certainly not!

    4. Did you pray to God to know IF it is true?
    I don’t talk to imaginary sky-fairies.

    5. Do you even read the Bible?
    I’ve read it twice through, cover to cover, back in my church-going days. Two different translations. It’s a human book too.

    6. Are you even a Christian?
    Nope, not for more than 20 years. I’m a much better person now.

    7. Do you even believe in and live the basic 10 commandments?
    Nope. They are listed in the bible twice, and the lists are not identical, so which version do you mean? Only a few of them contain basic good advice for living. As for not making graven images or keeping the sabbath, I don’t really see the point. And the “golden rule”, which I consider the most important of all, is not even on the list! I prefer the “Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”.

    I have a total “lack of faith”, and it’s not an issue at all! I’m pretty sure these were not the kind of answers you were expecting, but it’s the kind of answer you get when you take questions written by a True Believer (TM) and ask an infidel!

  • 75. Connie  |  January 3, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Ubi:

    In answer to your first question, no, it does not mean that “you are already deciding in advance that it is true.” Reading it with a sincere heart, instead, means this: you are sincerely wanting to know if the book is true. “Real intent” means that IF it is true, you are willing to do what it says. It also mean reading it with an open mind.

    Reading it with an open mind means that its teachings COULD or COULD NOT benefit your life in some way. A sincere heart doesn’t automatically assume that it doesn’t benefit you either. It goes both ways.

    I really liked what you said about prayer. I got a good laugh, about “praying to sky fairies”, that was pretty funny. Please know, though, that in saying that, I am not mocking what you think.

    There is an actual reference in the Book of Mormon, where a king didn’t know if there was a God that heard his prayers. This is found in Alma 22:18

    18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day.

    This king, even though he didn’t know who he was praying to, prayed with a “sincere heart” and with “real intent”. Further on, in verse 23, it says that after he received his answers to his questions and followed accordingly.

    I would like to compare “searching” and “reading with sincerity” to Christopher Columbus. In his day, everyone told him the world was flat. So, you’re right, Ubi, if Christopher Columbus went, in his quest for knowledge, already “assuming” that the world was flat, (with everyone already expecting him to find that knowledge,) he would have never discovered for himself that the world was actually round. But what did he do? He went, in his quest for knowledge, with an “open mind” that the world could be flat, or could be round. When he actually did his homework, he discovered the truth that the world was really round. That’s all I am saying in my reference to the Book of Mormon challenge. The promise is that you WILL discover the truth for yourself, and in a way that only you can understand it. The way you receive your answer may be different from the way I or anybody else receives their answer. But what’s important here, is you actually got a real answer to your searching question, and that you don’t just make things up, or draw conclusions without doing your homework first. That’s what sincerity is.
    Faith is the belief in things not seen, but that are true. We are told that we “receive no witness until after the trial of our faith. first.”

    In your response to question #6, “no, you’re not a Christian.” May I ask you, by calling yourself an “infidel”, are you actually classifying yourself as an atheist? I ask that because I believe that there is some truth to every religion. And believe it or not, there are many things that all the religions have in common. Take for instance, what you said “living the golden rule” to be the most important principle, in your opinion, taught in the Bible. I totally agree with you. I believe that living the golden rule in one’s life, is not only beneficial, but necessary for peace and happiness.

    In answer to your question regarding #7, “which commandments am I referring to”, I mean the commandments listed in Exodus 20. (By the way, these are also listed in the Book of Mormon. The prophet Abinadi quotes the law of Moses from the Bible to the wicked king Noah in Mosiah 13:15-24)

    1-Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    2-Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images
    3-Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
    4-Keep the sabbath day holy
    5-Honor thy father and thy mother
    6-Thou shalt not kill
    7-Thou shalt not commit adultery (or anything like it)
    8-Thou shalt not steal
    9-Thou shalt not bear false witness
    10-Thou shalt not covet

    Commandments #’s 5-10 I believe, all refer to the golden rule.
    I also believe that the commandments are not “restrictions” for us, but they’re guidelines for more power in our lives. You’re absolutely right, the commandments are “basic good advice for living”. I have witnessed this with myself, in my own family, and with my close friends, that when we don’t live the commandments, we only bring upon ourselves, and more importantly, others, misery and sorrow.

    About the sabbath day, and graven images? I can understand why you wouldn’t get that. These commandments go along with having faith in Jesus Christ. Keeping the sabbath day means to make it a sacred day, and focus on worshipping him through study and prayer, and serving others. Having graven images means putting “worldly pursuits” above serving God and living the golden rule.

    When you say you prefer them to say “I’d really rather you didn’ts”, are you implying that you don’t like the fact that they are commandments, and not suggestions? We do have our free agency, and we suffer the consequences when we don’t follow them. Nobody is forced to do anything in this life.

    As a believer, I also believe in science. I don’t take “the Lord created the earth in 6 days” literally. I think in discovering truth, it’s vitally necessary to also study science and factual data. When we ponder things out in our mind, we wonder and question what we read. Figuratively, the “6 days” means 6000 years. So, in the 7th day, (the 1000th year day), the Lord rested.

    So, Ubi, it’s been very nice blogging with you. Please let me know if you have any more questions for me. With me as a believer, and you as a proclaimed “infidel”, we still have a lot in common. I’d also like to invite you to read the Bible and the Book of Mormon again. This time, really do the experiment. You may, or may not, develop some faith.

    1- Read the book with an open mind, like I said
    2- Ponder its teachings along with the teachings in the Bible
    Even ponder science. Continue to read the Koran
    3- Really pray with a sincere heart, even if you think you’re praying to sky fairies

    The promise is: if you do it in sincerely, you will get truth for an answer. I believe that when we discover for ourselves, who God really is, it is a very real experience. In my discovery, I have found that God is not a God of fire and briimstone! God is actually very real, who loves all of us, as a father who loves his children.

  • 76. Connie  |  January 3, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    I meant to say the word “sincerity” not sincerely. Oh, and I want to add one more thing, Ubi. He may, or may not, even love you!

  • 77. Ubi Dubium  |  January 4, 2009 at 12:53 am

    OK, a few responses. First, to clarify, I am, indeed an Atheist. I was raised Presbyterian, and decided years ago that belief in the supernatural was rubbish. You will find many like me here at de-conversion. After many years I have decided that the existence of any god is about as likely as the existence of the tooth fairy or the easter bunny, and not worth worrying about. I no longer have any interest in seeking god. If on the off chance one actually exists, he knows where I live and can just show up if he is interested in my belief. I’m free for lunch.

    …Christopher Columbus. In his day, everyone told him the world was flat…

    A common fallacy. Actually, the spherical shape of the earth had been known since Ancient Greek times, and Eratosthenes had figured out its actual size. The Catholic church accepted this, since a sphere was considered to be the perfect shape. Columbus had listened to someone who claimed the earth was far smaller than it actually was, and so thought his voyage to the orient would be short. He was totally wrong. Good thing for him there was a continent in the way.

    I ask that because I believe that there is some truth to every religion. And believe it or not, there are many things that all the religions have in common. Take for instance, what you said “living the golden rule” to be the most important principle, in your opinion, taught in the Bible. I totally agree with you. I believe that living the golden rule in one’s life, is not only beneficial, but necessary for peace and happiness.

    I would agree that most religions have found some wisdom in common about how people can best live together. That’s one reason why the subject of ancient and modern religion is worth studying. This does not have any bearing on whether supernatural beings exist.

    Having graven images means putting “worldly pursuits” above serving God and living the golden rule.

    Maybe that’s what it means to you. To the Jews it means not bowing to idols. (Which the Catholics do all the time, so it does not mean the same to them.). To the Muslims it means not making any pictures of anything, especially their prophet, Muhammed. See, that’s the problem with relying on ancient writings, nobody agrees on what they really mean. How many thousands of interpretations are there of your bible? And what are the odds that you have the right one? Also – there are lots of “thou shalt nots” in that list of yours, but nothing about being nice to people in general.

    I see you are not familiar with the “Eight I’d Really Rather You Didn’ts”. I’ll refer you to this Wikipedia article for the list, rather than quote it here. It’s a short article, and you should get a laugh out of it, as well as something to think about. My objection to your Ten Commandments ais not that they are commandments, but that they are incomplete, outdated, and read as though they were written by Bronze-Age Middle Eastern goat herders about their tribal war-god. Which they were.

    My outlook is Humanist. All we have is this planet and each other. We each bear personal responsibility for what we do. No amount of attempted telepathy with invisible friends will have any measurable efect on the world. What happens when we die is that we are gone. What continues beyond our death is the effect we have left on the people we leave behind, and those to come in the future. Life is once, so we had better not screw it up.

    I may read your book at some point, if I am looking for a better understanding of the person who wrote it, or the people who believe it. But there are a lot of other texts ahead of it on my list. I have yet to read the Vedas, the Jaina-Sutras, the Tao Te-Ching or Gilgamesh, among many others. Your book is a relative latecomer to the field of religious literature, and was written by a single person, without a long oral tradition preceding it, so it is really a less interesting text.

    Enough rambling.

  • 78. Connie  |  January 4, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Once again, it was a pleasure to communicate with you. The only thing I have left to say, is if you’re going to denounce the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, at least get your facts right. Joseph Smith didn’t write it, he translated it. The book was written by several ancient prophets. The prophet “Mormon” compiled all the writings into 1 book. The Book of Mormon is NOT my book, it’s EVERYONE’S book, that want to sincerely learn the truth about it.

    Fantastic question about all the interpretations of the Bible. How do we know which is true? That’s why we need the Book of Mormon, a 2nd witness of Christ. It proves that Jesus is the Christ and what is true about the Bible. That’s why we need prophets, to be God’s special witnesses to teach us the REAL TRUTH about all the tampered interpretations throughout the years. But I won’t go into more detail about truth from the Bible and prophets, because I’d be wasting my time, since you’re not sincere.

    I don’t blame you for throwing up your hands, and concluding there’s no God, because all the different interpretations of the Bible are so confusing without knowing, or doing the truth experiment.

    So, claim you’re atheist! It’s the easy way out, but not the truth! I’m sure you believe, in your conclusions, that we “can’t prove there is a God”! Like I said, religion isn’t about proof. It IS about faith, and we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith. But let me ask you the same question. What can you say to prove that there ISN’T a God? Everything around you, including the fascinating human body, life, the universe, space, the sun, the planets, etc denotes that there IS a God! And that very day when you do happen to die (which we all will eventually) and you see that your spirit still exists outside of your body, you can then think of me, this Connie person who testified to you on this blog the reality of life, God, and Jesus Christ!

  • 79. BigHouse  |  January 4, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I cannot understand how I was previously duped by the “not evidence, but FAITH” canard. What a wonderfully self-fulfilling prophesy. And by this method, ANYTHING can be believed. What a farce.

  • 80. Ubi Dubium  |  January 4, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Connie, you’re preaching. Do you think we have not heard it all before? If you want to talk, or ask questions, fine, but don’t come here to preach. It’s clear you’ve been well indoctrinated in mormonism. Congratulations, you get an A. Now go preach at somebody else.

  • 81. Carlos  |  January 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I was interested in your reason number 3. I mentioned it to my long time Mormon friend. He said, “Yeah, I’ve heard this theory before. I believe it gained circulation among some Mormons (probably those predisposed to be bigots) during the Civil Rights Movement, to try to explain why the church at the time didn’t offer the priesthood to black members. The church itself has never taught this; to the contrary, it always taught that the day would come that black members would receive the priesthood–but exactly when was not known. The day finally came, as you know, in 1978.” I later wrote asked him, “So, what was the explanation for why at the time they didn’t have it? Do you remember the change over in ’78? And what about the ‘Indians’?” but didn’t get any reply. We’re grew up in the Bay Area of Northern California, and both born in ’67.

  • 82. shii  |  January 10, 2009 at 10:47 am

    This is a fascinating inside portrait of the church, but reason number 32 doesn’t really stand up for me: Ironically, these days the Mormon Church is a vocal proponent for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Why the complete turnaround in just 30 years? Did they think no one would notice?

    The consistency in bigotry here is more notable than the “inconsistency” in constitutional amendments. Now that the tide is turning towards respect for other people’s love, LDS wants to do anything possible to prevent that from happening. It’s awful that they advocate these sorts of political changes but given the rest of this article it’s not surprising.

    Also, a little word for Ubi: You are not going to find any notable evidence for God in holy texts, although maybe you’ll find some nice stories (I recommend the Bhagavad Gita). Religious people get their faith from “God”, not from books, and to understand what that means you should read some theologians– for example, “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” by Chris Hedges.

  • 83. Brent  |  January 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    It is an odd thing I suppose, to speak of an experiment whose chief requirement is to read, and to ask God, in the name of Christ, in complete humility and sincerity, if the Book of Mormon is true. The familiar scientific method, so far as the experimentalist’s approach is concerned, says “if you will tune your instrument is this way, and point it in this direction, you will see or discern evidence that will convince you of this truth”.
    The instruments are varied. Some are extremely sophisticated. Others are modest. The principal requirement is that the experiment be such that it can be reproduced by others. Some are willing to accept the opinions of other men, without performing the essential experiment that is prescribed. But in matters of the deepest import, I submit that this is not wise. There is no substitute, as it pertains to discovery of the Book of Mormon, than to perform the prescribed experiment.
    Well, please count me as one who has performed the experiment mentioned by several of the respondents regarding the Book of Mormon (as it is related in Moroni 10:3-5 of the Book of Mormon). My experiments have extended over nearly 40 years now, and includes at least forty readings of the Book of Mormon. And I find the evidence of its truthfulness, merit and divine origin to be overwhelming. I find great harmony in its teachings as compared to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Book of Mormon has been an endless source of inspiration and guidance in my life, since I first picked it up as a young man. This exploration has been the most important of my life. And I recommend the experiment to all honest seekers of truth.

  • 84. LeoPardus  |  January 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Read the BoM with a non-critical, non-reasoning, willing-to-be-duped mindset and you WILL enter into the wonderful world of delusion.

    Read in in light of archaeological evidence, and with your brain turned on…… well the results are rather different.

    There ya go Brent and Connie. Evangelism from the other side of the coin. Why don’t you try it? [Don't worry, I already know why. Because you already KNOW the truth.]

  • 85. Ubi Dubium  |  January 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    @Shii –
    First you state that I’m not going to find evidence for God in a book, then you turn around and recommend a book! My irony meter just went “Sproingg!”

  • 86. Kevin Parkin  |  January 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

    For goodness sakes! Where do I begin? You people are hilarious.

    I needed a good laugh so I read a blog from this same ‘de-conversion’ series called ” Reasons I no longer believe – God is not trustworthy” and left comment # 76. Then I read the most recent blogations here and have the following comments:

    First: Connie #71 #73 #75 #78 and Len #58 Please learn to edit.

    Second: I have been very busy lately, but now have time to response to #53. Your points are well taken. My responses:

    1) While some prominent Jewish thinkers do acknowledge the absense of archeological evidence of the exodus, most Jewish and Christian believers rag on the Book of Mormon (or Mormon’s Book as I like to call it) as uncredible because of the lack of archeological evidence. For Heavan’s sake, Jesus lacks archeological evidence. Columbus’s voyages lack archeological evidence. The Apolo moon landings lack archelogical evidence. (I realize there are footprints on the Moon, but you get my point). But there are many other historical and observational and literary evidences which richly suppoprt these and other Biblical and Book of Mormon accounts. My original point with respect to Moses was that he and other Biblical prophets are accepted without reservation by their supporters (without archelogicl evidence) so please allow the Book of Mormon prophetic supporters the same consideration. We get it – prophets rarely leave behind archeological evidence.

    2) You were right that my DNA argument with respect to my grandfather was flawed. Turns out, mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) is used to track human decendency and therefore human migration. mt DNA is passed only through females; I should have used my grandmother in my example. She had seven sons and no daughters. Five of the sons served in WWII; four survived. Of the six remaining sons only two had daughtes – my sisters and cousins. Of all my sisters and cousins, none have given birth to girls. And, since they are all over age 40, none will likely ever have daughters. So, upon the death of my sisters and female cousins, every trace of my grandmothers mtDNA will vanish from the earth’s population. (Google “NOVA: Tracing ancestry with mtDNA” for more information).

    3) In my blog #52, I pointed out that the Bible is not a history of the middle east and the Book of Mormon in not a history of the Americas. They are family journals – Abraham and Lehi’s families. Bringing this to people’s attention seams unnecessary because it is so obvious. I said, these books are “collections of personal thoughts, impressions, sermons, anecdotes, individual experiences and testimonials”. Then, you quipped back, “and halucinations” and then mentioned elephants and chariots. Another blogger mentioned precious metal currency and the wheel.

    With respect to halucinaltions: I acknowledge that some people halucinate; whom those people are is the real question. Did Mary halucinate or simply makeup that story of the angel of God impregnating her? Did Moses halucinate or simply makeup that story of the burning bush? Did Jesus halucinate or simply makeup that transfiguation story? Did Abindigo and his two brothers halucinate or simply makeup that story about being in the firey oven without being burned to death? Throw in some Saul, a little King David, some talk of a flood and building a boat big enough to hold a complete collection of every animal species and you have an halucination brew that would make a witch all giddy. Look, calling a black cat ‘black’ is one thing, but labeling a person’s journal entry about his real experience as an ‘halucination’ is beneath your inteligence. And, the Book of Mormon does not mention elephants.

    4) Migratory and human social history are complicated topics. For you to declare that Lehi’s family would not have assimilated into a wider American population is simply beyond your declatory rights. This happened 26 centuries ago; you can’t possibly know what Lehi’s family endured. That is not unless the family left a journal behind for you to read. We know about Marco Polo, James Cook, Lewis & Clark and many others not because of the records of the indiginous people whom they encountered, but by way of their own journals. The Book of Mormon isn’t so complicated, people; it’s a family journal!

    No offense to all you Mormons out there, but quoting Moroni’s promise about the ‘sincere heart and real intent’ is unnecessary, because his promise is unneccesary. No one needs Moroni’s permission or promise to approach Diety for an interpersonal inquiry. But, Moroni’s words do act as a reminder to use rational thought in our quest for truth and knowledge (no halucinations allowed) and to avoid manuevering or manipulating our own conclusions before all the facts are in.

    Third: Right back at you #57: I said Jesus was a brick contractor. You implied that I meant he was a mason. Well, I suppose he was a brick mason. Yes, I know that the Masonic order of which Washington, Jefferson, and Smith were members originated long after Jesus.

  • 87. Andy  |  February 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    very interesting read…I was raised in the church…Dad came from a long line of Utah Mormons, Mom converted…I never had a desire to go on a mission…never have read the B of M…tried several times…found it boring (too much like a fairly tale or bad science fiction)…I was raised with almost no LDS friends other than those I met at church…none in my rural school…started enjoying good beer at 16 and still do…went to Ricks College for 1 year…really cut into my drinking time…and I was never really a believer…and I married a wonderful Catholic girl and have 2 kids…and now at age 60 I’ve had a great life so far without the church in it…

  • 88. Jay  |  March 15, 2009 at 6:37 am

    “…they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do
    they understand.” Matthew 13:13. It is incredible how people with so little study can presume to speak authoritatively. This is true of both sides of the argument. I have studied and written books on both Old and New Testaments, completed studies of the Koran, the Vedas, the Analects, various Buddhist writings, Tao Te Ching, the Apocrypha, the writings of Josephus, and the histories of all the main Christian sects with particular stress on Catholicism. Further, I hold a degree in philosophy with emphasis on deductive and predicate logic. In light of all this, including a view of the argument studied from every angle, the Book of Mormon continues to be the most correct and consistent book I have ever read. I was not a member and never had the opportunity of Mormon “brainwashing”. The book speaks for itself. I suggest reading it unbiasedly and with no ulterior motive (either to confirm truthfulness or find fault). Enjoy it for the gift it is.
    Note-I won’t be checking back to read the presumptuous and ill-founded diatribes i’m sure this comment will evoke. Please keep them to yourselves until you’ve at least read the book.

  • 89. Haider Naseeb  |  March 20, 2009 at 5:40 am

    very good

  • 90. Dennis  |  March 30, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Holding a M.A. in linguistics from the University of Colorado and having also studied all of the books mentioned by Jay (above) I concur completely with his analysis. It is obvious that most who have commented here have never taken the time to educate themselves on the Book of Mormon. Having studied it in depth, as a linguist, I find the use of so much Middle-Eastern verbiage and customs uncanny and I wonder to myself how anyone in rural New York in 1830 could have possessed such knowledge, much less an unschooled and ignorant farm-boy. And then, comparing Joseph Smith’s writing style from his early journals to that of the Book of Mormon again gives the rational world reason for pause, as the styles are completely different. I think one would be wise to do the research before commenting so vociferously against this wonderful book.

  • 91. LeoPardus  |  March 30, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Of for crying out loud Dennis. Pick the crap back up, close the can, and take it all elsewhere. You didn’t stumble into a turnip patch of morons you can hoodwink with a degree. More than a few of us have read that book (and the PoGC and the BoC and the D&C). We know as well as you that it’s a cheap rip off of phraseology from the KJV bible plus some conspiracy theory-like, bad historical revisionism thrown in.
    Take it to your local ward meeting. I’m sure they’ll be impressed.

  • 92. Dennis  |  March 31, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I only ask that one compare the 1832 Journal entries of Joseph Smith with the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon and Joseph’s dictated revelations one with the other. The inquisitor will find such a distinct writing style in each that they would be hard pressed to surmise that the same person wrote them.

    Leo, my friend, perhaps you could show what you term to be a “cheap rip-off of phraseology” and then explain how an individual with a third grade education could have the extensive knowledge of Olive cultivation (not known in the Western Hemisphere at this time) as is described in the allegory of Zenos. Then perhaps you could explain how such an individual could write such detailed and lengthy Chiasmus. Then explain the statement by the native born Arab translator of the Book of Mormon who declared that the text flowed easily into the language and how the customs described in the Book of Mormon would have to have come from someone intimate with Middle Eastern culture.

    Leo, your little bad-tempered rant, above, is just that and oozes with the ignorance and hatred anti-Mormons have perpetuated upon the faith since its genesis. I have studied the Book of Mormon and ancient scripture for more than 5 decades. You can present no argument that I have not heard before and personally debunked. So, you can keep your little juvenile tirade to yourself and present factual evidence in your debate (I haven’t seen any presented here as yet – even the author of this piece is wrong on so many points that it is hard to take him seriously). So far all I have seen are the same tired, old anti-Mormon arguments that have been around forever. Along with the preacher of Ecclesiastes I ask, “Is there nothing new under the sun?”

  • 93. LeoPardus  |  April 1, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Dennis:

    Perhaps you can explain why not one scintilla of archeological evidence has ever supported Mormon claims of events in the Americas.
    Or maybe why the “Arab translator” story has no verification outside of Mormon story telling.
    Or maybe why the original BoM has multitudinous textual differences from today’s versions. (This despite the BoM being “the most perfectly translated book”.)
    Or maybe why the church has changed positions on blacks as members/clergy, and on polygamy.

    I’m sure you’ve heard those before of course. Just as I’ve heard efforts to explain them away. The efforts are no more impressive than similar efforts to explain away all the problems with any other christian sect.

    Oh and by the way, do Mormons have different behavioral standards toward unbelievers from those expected of other christians? I ask because I can’t square your nasty-tempered, attack-dog response with the several bible scriptures that advocate patience, gentleness, not returning evil for evil, turning the other cheek, and so on. So do Mormons have a pass on snide, bad-tempered attitudes, or are you just a hypocrite like the overwhelming majority of other “christians”?

  • 94. Dennis  |  April 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Oh what a nasty, little, Godless atheist you are! Seems you can dish it out but you can’t take it! But not so quick. I have asked for your response first. I have debated all of these subjects at length and even your asking about them shows your lack of knowledge on the subject. Oh and I notice that you still present no factual evidence. Oh well, that is typical!

    But just a samipling of the evidence in question (since you atheist aren’t prone to spiritual confirmation of anything you only believe in things that you can see). After you read these proofs if you still have questions I have hundreds of more documented pages.

    Concerning the original Aztec and Maya inhabitants of Mexico at the time of European conquest and colonization, Alan Knight writes:

    “Conversion was further facilitated by the many points of ostensible similarity between Mesoamerican religion and Catholicism. Elements such as sacrifice, confession, asceticism, divine intercession (and, in Yucatán, baptism) [sic] were common to both, at least in the eyes of heterodox Indian converts” (Alan Knight, “Mexico: The Colonial Era” (Edinburgh: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 39).

    And of course anyone having the least knowledge of Mesoamerican History knows about the easily conquered Aztecs because they assumed Cortés to be the fair-skinned, bearded savior of the Toltec (and borrowed by the Aztec) Quetzalcoatl (Central American deity of creativity and life) who had promised to some day return. The Aztecs also practiced a corrupted form of the sacrament (communion) where they actually ate the flesh (the right thigh) and drank the blood of sacrificial victims as part of a religious tribute to their god Huitzilopochtli (patron deity of the Mexica-Aztecs), “If you were a slave between owners, literally “on the market,” your life was in jeopardy. The bright side was that if you were physically attractive, you might be purchased to be a deity impersonator and live the life of a god – or goddess – for a full year before being the featured player in the ceremony dedicated to that deity. The end was the same, however, your still-beating heart was ripped from your body and then your right thigh was delicately prepared as the day’s special on the menu of the ensuing feast” (Susan Toby Evans, “Ancient Mexico & Central America: Archaeology and Culture History” (London: Thames & Hudson, 2004), 467). Drinking the blood and eating the flesh of “sacrificial victims was a sacred act, because the dead body had been sanctified by the ritual, if not by having served as a deity impersonator beforehand, and the victims soul was thought to enter a privileged afterlife. Only nobles could participate in meals involving sacrificial victims, and if the victim was a war captive, the warrior who made the capture was awarded the most valued part of the body, the right thigh…transubstantiation is the ritual conversion, in the context of the eucharist or mass, of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Sincere participation in holy communion depends upon belief in transubstantiation. With their sophisticated ability to sense supernatural power morphing from one form to another, the Aztec’s found the concept of transubstantiation fully understandable, because this was their belief in consuming the body of the sacrificial victim” (Susan Toby Evans, “Ancient Mexico & Central America: Archaeology and Culture History” (London: Thames & Hudson, 2004), 506).

    Why would there have been so many vestiges of Christianity found among the Indigenous peoples: like the belief in a sacrificial savior, the return of a fair skinned Messiah that had once walked among them (for whom they mistook Cortés), the practice of asceticism (orders of priesthood), a type of communion that was practiced (although perverted), and the practice of Baptism? Where did they learn such things?
    “In pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, ritual confession was related both to Tezcatlipoca, whose omnipresence enabled him to see all, and to Tlazolteotl, a manifestation of the female earth goddess known as the “filth eater” since the earth received everything. Confession could take place only once in a lifetime, and therefore the moment for it was carefully chosen. The penitent confessed his sins to a priest who was bound to secrecy; the confession was solely for the deity for whom the priest acted as agent. Then the priest, according to the severity of the sin, set a penance that, once accomplished, provided immunity from further temporal punishment. Durán explains that the confession was “not [always] oral as some have claimed,”which he deduced from the fact that when he heard the Catholic confessions of Indians, they often brought pictures of their sins, evidently in the style of the codices. Although the modes of pre-Columbian confession varied somewhat from area to area—among the Zapotecs, for example, there were annual public confessions while the Maya might confess to family members in the absence of a priest —the correspondence of all these practices to those of the Christian confessional was remarkable. It is little wonder that Durán was led to conclude that “in many cases the Christian religion and the heathen ways found a common ground.” (Roberta H. Markman and Peter T. Markman, “Masks of the Spirit: Image and Metaphor in Mesoamerica” (Berkley: University of California Press, 1989)

    He was amazed as well by similarities in the rite of communion fundamental to both religions as each prescribed the ritual consumption of a sacrificed god. While “the Catholics drank wine and swallowed a wafer to symbolize their contact with the divine blood and body of Christ, the Mexica consumed images of the gods made of amaranth and liberally annointed with sacrificial blood.”[48] The dough that formed those images was known by the Aztecs as “the flesh of god,”[49] a ritual substitute for the flesh of sacrificial victims who had become gods but a substitute paralleling remarkably the Christian idea of transubstantiation. Other similarities in ritual practice existed as well: both religions accompanied ritual by the burning of incense in sacred places, and the priests who conducted that ritual in both cases “chanted, wore elaborate robes, made vows of celibacy, lived in communities … and wore their hair in a tonsure.”[50] Pilgrimages to especially sacred places played a major part in both. In fact, pre-Conquest pilgrimage centers, such as the one at Chalma, soon became, and remain even today, Catholic pilgrimage centers.” (Roberta H. Markman and Peter T. Markman, “Masks of the Spirit: Image and Metaphor in Mesoamerica” (Berkley: University of California Press, 1989).

    Dr. Coe says, “Yet long before this, (the crossing of the Bearing Strait) boats must have been available to the people of Eurasia…. The presence or absence of a land bridge from Siberia to Alaska is thus not necessarily relevant to the problem, for the first Americans may well have taken a maritime route” (Michael D. Coe, “The Maya”, 7th ed. (New York: Thames and Hudson, 2005), 41). This statement is in accord with the Book of Mormon and was ridiculed only 50 years ago. Scholarship brings to light new facts. Have you ever heard of Thor Heyderdahl and his Kon Tiki expedition? You should check it out!

    The twelve tribes were scattered. Do you know where they went? If you do, you are alone! It is for this reason they are known as the “lost tribes of Israel”. Jesus spoke concerning these lost tribes when He said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16). Also Ezekiel spoke of the records left by these people descended from Joseph in Ezekiel 37:19 and in the blessings that Israel gave to his sons he said to Joseph that he was to be a persecuted tribe but would yet be fruitful and multiply and his descendants would go beyond the borders that then encompassed them (Gen 49:22). Where are the tribes of Joseph these days (Ephraim and Manasseh)?

    Good research scholars take parallels in historical settings and make correlations to other civilizations all the time. Rarely is anything cut and dry – this is the reason for research. Quoting Indiana Jones in “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”, “X never, I repeat never, marks the spot”. Many archaeologists and scholars (Coe, Evans, Pool, Schele, Freidel and Thompson – (both of them, Edward and Sir Eric – among them) have long been under the opinion that maritime migrations in small quantities helped to populate and influence Mesoamerican culture (see above Coe citation).

    Second, as you are wont to do, you read into passages what they do not say. As the quote from Knight that you gave had nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Third, you, apparently a novice on Mesoamerican History, are ignorant of the work of Bishop Diego de Landa (the plunderer and destroyer of much of the History of Mesoamerica – but in the process leaving us with his own reactions and studies of the Maya of the Yucatán. As a Franciscan monk he arrived in the Yucatán around 1542. Therefore, he was one of the first Europeans to contact these people. His is a “primary source” if there ever was one. Let me post some of his comments:

    “Baptism is not found anywhere in the Indies save here in Yucatán, and even with a word meaning to be born anew or a second time, the same as the Latin renascer. Thus in the language of Yucatan “sihil” means ‘to be born anew,’ or a second time, but only however in composition; thus “caput-sihil” means to be reborn. Its origin we have been unable to learn” (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 42). Evidently Landa wondered where in the world the Maya could have come up with this concept.

    “It (baptism) is something … they have always used and for which they have had such devotion that no one fails to receive it; they had such reverence for it that those guilty of sins, or who knew they were about to sin, were obliged to confess to the priest, in order to receive it; and they had such faith in it that in no manner did they ever take it a second time. They believed that in receiving it they acquired a predisposition to good conduct and habits, protection against being harmed by the devils in their earthly affairs, and that through it and living a good life they would attain a beatitude hereafter which, like that of Mahomet, consisted in eating and drinking” (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 42-43).

    “The baptism … was given between the ages of three and twelve” (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 43).

    “Whenever one desired to have his child baptized, he went to the priest and made his wish known to him, who then published this in the town, with the day chosen, which they took care should be of good omen. This being done, the solicitant, being thus charged with giving the fiesta, selected at his discretion some leading man of the town to assist him in the matter” (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 43).

    “The chacs then went to the children and placed on the heads of all white cloths which their mothers had brought for the purpose. They asked of the largest ones whether they had done any bad thing, or obscene conduct, and if any had done so, they confessed them and separated them from the others” (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 44).

    The mode of Baptism: “The one elected by the parents as director of the fiesta took a bone given him by the priest, went to the children and menaced each one with the bone on the forehead, nine times. After this he wet the bone in a jar of water he carried, and with it anointed them on the forehead, the face, and between the fingers of their hands and the bones of their feet, without saying a word” (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 44).

    Here it is interesting to note that at the end of the baptism and feast given to honor it something akin to the descent of the Holy Ghost occurred, “The fiesta then ended with long eating and drinking; and this fiesta was called em-ku, which means ‘the descent of the god.’” (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 45).

    Don’t you think these similarities are a little too much for coincidence. Where could they have possibly come up with this idea that is so akin to Christian teachings?

    “The outline of that transformational process is suggested in the newly installed ruler’s depiction of himself as one of those who will “pronounce for thee,” that is, Tezcatlipoca, and simultaneously “pronounce for thy progenitor,” that is, Ometeotl.” (Roberta H. Markman and Peter T. Markman, “Masks of the Spirit: Image and Metaphor in Mesoamerica” (Berkley: University of California Press, 1989), 141) – sounds like He backs up the asceticism allegation of Knight as well.

    “One of the most intriguing aspects in the study of prehistory is the question of contacts and influences between different cultures…(scholars arrive at their thesis) about cultural connections, based on similarities in arts and crafts and other customs” (Carl Waldman. “Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes”, 3rd ed. (New York: Infobase Publishing, 2006), 180). The author then goes on to show the similarities of the Mississippian culture of Mound builders, having their temples built upon the Mounds as well as many other similarities, with the Maya and Aztec drawing many scholars to come to the conclusion that the Mound builders of the Mississippi are descendants of the Maya and Aztec (also shown from the linguistics aspect). But wait, this also corresponds to what the Book of Mormon tells us about the people on this continent and to what Joseph Smith said concerning the Mississippian culture now known as the Hopewell.

    And then we have a ton of similarities between the Christian faith that was brought over by the first Spanish settlers and conquistadors and those of the Maya religion:

    “Conversion was further facilitated by the many points of ostensible similarity between Mesoamerican religion and Catholicism. Elements such as sacrifice, confession, asceticism, divine intercession (and, in Yucatán, baptism) [sic] were common to both, at least in the eyes of heterodox Indian converts” (Alan Knight, “Mexico: The Colonial Era” (Edinburgh: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 39).
    Where would the Indians have gotten such notions as these if Christ had not come to preach them to them? Bishop Diego de Landa wrote many pages concerning this method of Baptism, which was preceded by confession and forsaking of sins and followed by the bestowal of the Holy Ghost, (what the Maya called “emku” meaning literally the “descent of the god”). (Diego de Landa, “Yucatán Before and After the Conquest”, trans. William Gates (1937), 45).

    Now lets compare to the Book of Mormon:

    (3 Ne. 11:23)
    23 Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.
    (3 Ne. 27:20)
    20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
    (Mosiah 26:29)
    …if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.

  • 95. Dennis  |  April 1, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Also as far as archaeological evidence you may want to read “A Forest of Kings” by Linda Schele and David Friedel who mention a line of Kings that were found on certain stele in Palenque, Mexico that put two Jaredite rulers in the same succession and time period in which the Book of Mormon places them (Kish and Lib). There is plenty of Archaeolofical evidence for those who wish to open their eyes and look at all of the correlations.

  • 96. Joe  |  April 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    If you read the book of Moroni it states that 2 million people die in a battle near the “Hill Cumorah” where the golden plates were eventually found by Joseph Smith.

    Yet, there is not one iota of evidence of any bodies, armour, skeletons of horses, weapons, food remnants, or housing for all of those people. Mormons always mention Mexico or South America and advance claims for the Jaredites or Lamanites based on Inca, Aztec or Mayan ruins. But we are talking 2 million dead people in New York that have simply vanished!!

    Imagine ALL THE REMAINS of a city like San Diego simply disappearing after a thousand years. That is simply impossible. All of those people, with all of their dwelling places, and all of their needs would leave an archaelogical imprint even a thousand years later without question.

    The Book of Mormon does not have any archaeological evidence or historicity—if it did the Jaredites and Lamanites would be mentioned in history books as a “fact”—-but they are not because they never existed.

  • 97. Joe  |  April 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Above, when I mention 2 million people vanishing in New York, I failed to mention that the Hill Cumorah is in New York. Supposedly a HUGE civilization existed around New York and it’s environs, complete with palaces, towers, and numerous buildings and homes for the millions who existed at that time.

    They are ALL gone–there is no evidence now that they ever existed. Apparently bodies in New York 1500 years ago were subject to evaporation.

  • 98. LeoPardus  |  April 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Dennis:

    OK. So the answer to my last couple questions in post 93 would be, “Yes. Mormons have different standards. They are free to be as ugly as they please.” Thank you for confirming that. So I want to follow a religion that produces thin-skinned, arrogant, sharp-tongued attack dogs? Don’t think so.

    I did read through your over long post. Yes. It’s easy enough to explain the findings of christian-like rituals. But since that would only generate “hundreds of more pages”, I can’t see any reason to bother.

    Here’s what you’re not getting. I don’t need hundreds of pages of “evidence” varying between lousy, easily explained, and outright wrong. I don’t even care if you have good archeology. Because, you see, my problem isn’t coming up with arguments, or “evidence”, or claims, or stories, or anecdotes, or manuscripts. My problem with theistic belief is coming up with (or rather, not coming up with) a deity.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s Mormonism, Catholicism, Shamanism, Jainism, Pastafarianism, or whateverism. None of them actually have a real deity. None of them can show me the kind of power seen in the stories of Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc.

    I’m not interested in some made up deity that requires reams of “evidence” or armies of apologists to prop up his supposed “existence”. I would only be interested in a deity if someone could show me that they “come not just with words, but with power”. (that’s in one of Paul’s epistles); or maybe they could say, “If you don’t believe in my words, believe in the miracles I have shown you.” (That’s in the Gospels.)

    So keep your “hundreds of pages”. When you come up with an actual, working deity, let me know. (Hopefully it’d be a deity that doesn’t engender shitty attitudes, anger, and rabies in its followers.)

    OK now Dennis. The last word is all yours.

  • 99. Dennis  |  April 1, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Leo, my unbelieving friend, I only calls ‘em as I sees ‘em. What did Jesus say to the unbelieving and those who lie about the truth of others, I believe his words were, “Pharisee, Hypocrite, Den of Vipers.” And on another occasion he turned over tables and chased the money changers out of the temple. You will find I don’t mince words and don’t play the hypocrite. I say what I think. No, I don’t turn the other cheek when someone is spouting unsubstantiated lies. I will defend my faith and what I know to the death. That is who I am – I am first and foremost an imperfect human.

    Leo says: “I did read through your over long post. Yes. It’s easy enough to explain the findings of christian-like rituals. But since that would only generate “hundreds of more pages”, I can’t see any reason to bother.”

    Dennis: Sure you can. Saying is one thing doing is another. I believe you are all talk and a phony. So far you have had the audacity to speak of things you know nothing about. And I will continue to rebut your misconceptions.

    Leo: Here’s what you’re not getting. I don’t need hundreds of pages of “evidence” varying between lousy, easily explained, and outright wrong. I don’t even care if you have good archeology. Because, you see, my problem isn’t coming up with arguments, or “evidence”, or claims, or stories, or anecdotes, or manuscripts. My problem with theistic belief is coming up with (or rather, not coming up with) a deity.

    Dennis: Leo, my brother, you are free to believe (or in your case, not to believe) in anything you choose. Just don’t infringe on my right to do so. You have just proven that you don’t care about evidence, no matter what it says because then you will have to dispute your beloved scientific rational in the face of other science. I didn’t come here to convert anyone. My sole purpose is to vanquish lies and mistruths about my faith and I am quite well versed in this arena having studied these things extensively for 5 decades.

    Leo: Doesn’t matter if it’s Mormonism, Catholicism, Shamanism, Jainism, Pastafarianism, or whateverism. None of them actually have a real deity. None of them can show me the kind of power seen in the stories of Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc.

    Dennis: Faith precedes the miracle, my friend. I have seen that power. I was raised from my deathbed through this power and as a missionary I have utilized this same power to heal the terminally ill (this was forty years ago and she still lives). So I have seen the power that the non-believer cannot see. You might say I see with more refined vision.

    Leo: I’m not interested in some made up deity that requires reams of “evidence” or armies of apologists to prop up his supposed “existence”. I would only be interested in a deity if someone could show me that they “come not just with words, but with power”. (that’s in one of Paul’s epistles); or maybe they could say, “If you don’t believe in my words, believe in the miracles I have shown you.” (That’s in the Gospels.)

    Dennis: Then go back and read the journals of those associated with the founding of the Church. There were many miracles in those days – including an experience like at Pentecost in association with the Kirtland Temple. As Jesus once said, “Blessed are those that have seen and believed but more blessed are those that have not seen and yet believe.” You do as you wish, but I would suggest you at least look at the purported miracles that happen everyday.

    Leo: So keep your “hundreds of pages”. When you come up with an actual, working deity, let me know. (Hopefully it’d be a deity that doesn’t engender shitty attitudes, anger, and rabies in its followers.)

    Dennis: You mean like the attitude you, who have no god, have. Again, seems you can dish it but can’t take it.

    Leo: OK now Dennis. The last word is all yours.

    Dennis: Thanks. I just had it (assuming you have nothing else to say). I sincerely hope you find what you seek and can find happiness in your life without having to deride others for their belief in something you cannot see.

  • 100. Dennis  |  April 2, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Joe,

    You are evidently ignorant of the two Cumorahs theory and the book of Mormon only place the plates in the Hill Cumorah in New York – not all the records. A close reading of the Book of Mormon will show you that Moroni actually only took a few records with him (The plates from whence the Book of Mormon was translated) to another location after the huge battle. There is a theory that the Cerro Vigio is the other Cummorah and this location does have all of the traits associated with that final battle. The Book of Mormon does not place the battle in New York. The majority of archaeological evidence uncovered suggests the Tehuantepec Isthmus as the location for most of the Book of Mormon happenings, although the Hopewell culture also suggests many similarities based on recent findings. I have spent many years in the Maya Peninsula in research and have had conversations with some of the greatest minds in Archaeology – even the Smithsonian has retracted its statement concerning the Book of Mormon in recent years because of new discoveries. So if you want to go against me on archaeological, anthropological and linguistic evidences I hope you have done your homework.

    The linguistic evidences are even more amazing. Since linguistics is my profession and if you are interested I will be glad to submit that evidence to you as well.

    As I have said before, you are free to believe or not believe in whatever you choose. I won’t try to change you – but I will defend such allegations as you have made. You want tolerance for your atheistic stance, well practice what you preach and allow others the freedom to worship and believe what they will. The problem with the godless is they have lost the great gift and power of faith.

  • 101. Dennis  |  April 2, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Correction: That is Cerro Vigia!

  • 102. Joe  |  April 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Dennis—

    Actually, I am not an atheist. I am a Christian. You are correct—you are free to believe what you will. But I have read the book of Mormon, along with many other Mormon documents, and it is obvious that they are the work of a very clever writer/writers.

    Just the fact that the plates, found in America in 1820 in a hillside, are “translated” into 1611 English is enough to give one pause. And the fact that exact passages of King James Bible are used (many from Isaiah in the book of 1 Nephi), with all of the italic additions in place (these were added as “helps” by the 1611 translators, and were not part of the original manuscripts), shows the were “lifted” from that translation.

    The Mayas, Incas and Aztecs were a separate and distinct culture, and have nothing to do with Lamanites or Jaredites. I think you need to do some more reading. Even Mormon archaeologists themselves (the ones willing to be completely honest) admit there is no evidence for millions of inhabitants, palaces, towers, elephants, horses, weapons, etc——you have a few Mayan, Inca and Aztec ruins distinct to their culture—–not Semitic in nature.

  • 103. Joe  |  April 2, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Here is just one site describing the absence of Mormon archaeological proof (there are many, many more):

    http://www.watchman.org/lds/bmzero.htm

  • 104. Dennis  |  April 3, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Joe: Just the fact that the plates, found in America in 1820 in a hillside, are “translated” into 1611 English is enough to give one pause. And the fact that exact passages of King James Bible are used (many from Isaiah in the book of 1 Nephi), with all of the italic additions in place (these were added as “helps” by the 1611 translators, and were not part of the original manuscripts), shows the were “lifted” from that translation.

    Dennis: Actually the plates were shown to Joseph in 1823. The plates were not delivered to Joseph for translation until September 22, 1827. This may be a small point but it shows that you are sloppy in your research and know not what you are talking about. Furthermore, a quick review of Isaiah and Nephi will show you substantial differences in some of the texts, many of which are much closer to translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which Joseph, of course, had no access to since they had not yet been discovered). As for the 17th century English vernacular being used – the Book of Mormon is a text of scripture and was written as such. Scripture in Joseph’s day was written in this mode and so the translation was done in this mode. As a professional linguist and translator I can tell you this would have been common practice and still is today with many modern translations of the Bible that continue to use the same vernacular. Scripture would have been translated as scripture complete with all of the “thees” and “thous”. When I pray I use the same style of English in my prayers as a sign of respect to my Father in Heaven. If this is your stumbling block I don’t see how you could possibly believe in the Bible either – frankly it has many more credibility problems than does the Book of Mormon but I am able to take those things on faith (the parting of the Red Sea, The sun and moon standing still in the heavens while Joshua led the assault upon the Amorites, a Virgin birth that resulted in a super being that could beat death). And yet on these points I exercise the faith necessary to believe them. The Book of Mormon’s clams are simple compared to these. Therefore, your stumbling block is small indeed.

    Joe: The Mayas, Incas and Aztecs were a separate and distinct culture, and have nothing to do with Lamanites or Jaredites. I think you need to do some more reading. Even Mormon archaeologists themselves (the ones willing to be completely honest) admit there is no evidence for millions of inhabitants, palaces, towers, elephants, horses, weapons, etc——you have a few Mayan, Inca and Aztec ruins distinct to their culture—–not Semitic in nature.

    Dennis: Again I would suggest you do a little homework. The following articles in Academic tomes may enlighten you understanding:

    A 1971 paper showed that there exists a large, detailed body of parallels between the civilizations of the Near East and Mesoamerica in sacred architecture and practices, astronomy, calendar, writing, beliefs, symbolism, and other aspects of culture (Sorenson, John L. (1971). The Significance of an Apparent Relationship between the Ancient Near East and Mesoamerica. In C.L. Riley, J.C. Kelley, C.W. Pennington, and R.L. Rands (Ed.), “Man Across the Sea:Problems of Pre-Colombian Contacts” (pp.219-41). Austin: University of Texas Press). Also see my above post to Leo on the findings of Diego de Landa and certain cultural anthropologists.

    Cyrus H. Gordon, a Jewish scholar, and other renowned academics have compiled interesting data on that point, as well (Gordon, C.H. et al (1971) “Before Columbus: Links Between the Old World and Ancient America” New York: Crown).

    Alexander von Wathenau published images of ceramic figurines from Mesoamerica that definitely show Jewish faces (v. Wathenau, A. (1965), “Altamerikanische Tonplastik: Das Menschenbild der Nuen Welt” Baden-Baden: Holle).

    And we linguists have some evidence for possible connections between Semitic languages and Mesoamerican Zapotec and related tongues on one hand and Uto-Aztecan on another (Agrinier P. (1969). Linguistic Evidences for the Presence of Israelites in Mexico. “Society for Early Historic Archaeology, Newsletter and Proceedings”. 112, 4-5.

    Brian Stubbs in his paper “Elements of Hebrew in Uto-Aztecan: A Summary of the Data” released by FARMS points to at least 1000 (one thousand) roots with phonological and other linguistic patterns consistent with creolization involving a Semitic language and Uto-Aztecan.
    Mary L. Foster, a linguist at the University of California, has shown evidence of a connection between :Afro-Asiatic” languages, especially Egyptian, and old Mesoamerican languages such as Mixe-Zoquean (Foster M.L. (1998) The Transoceanic Trail: The Proto-Pelegian Language Phylum. “Pre-Columbiana 1”. Boulder: Westview Press).
    I also refer you to the stele of Palenque in which were sculpted the names of Jaredite Kings, Lib and Kish, in the same chronological order and time period in which the Book of Mormon places them (see Schele, L and Freidel, D. (1990) “A Forest of Kings” New York: Harper).
    Now Joe, do you see the fallacy of your argument. Above you attributed something to the Book of Mormon that it does not claim i.e., a great battle on and around the Hill Cumorah in upper New York State. If you had indeed read the Book of Mormon as you had claimed then you would know the fallacy in that argument as well – but allow me to educate you anyway. Around 385 AD there was a great battle around the Hill Cumorah (not the Cumorah in New York, which naming had its genesis in 1829 among Joseph Smith’s restorationist movement) but at another hill that was called Cumorah by the Nephites (it was known as Ramah by the Jaredites). In this battle hundreds of thousand were slain. Now to what the Book of Mormon actually says concerning the incidents and burial of the records.
    On this occasion the prophet Mormon said: “Knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, SAVE IT WERE THESE FEW PLATES WHICH I GAVE UNTO MY SOM MORONI” (Moroni 6:6).
    So Mormon gave his son, Moroni, a few plates (the ones from whence were translated the Book of Mormon). Moroni, then being the sole survivor, wandered many years and over much distance. Sixteen years later Moroni writes: “After the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites that had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. … Therefore I will write and hide up the records (that he held) in the earth” (Mormon 8: 1-5). Moroni wandered for 36 years after this final battle and fled far from the pursuing Lamanites. He hid the records “in the earth” around 421 AD a long distance from the hill then known as Cumorah. The book of Mormon does not give the name of the hill where Moroni hid his few records. We now know it was in the hill that is now known as Cumorah in New York – but that was not the name of this hill until 1829. All indications today point to the Cerro Vigia in the Yucatan as being the original hill Cumorah and archaeological findings and terrain back up this hypothesis.
    Hugh Nibley, the greatest of the LDS apologists once wrote: “The normal way of dealing with the Book of Mormon ‘scientifically’ has been first to attribute to the Book of Mormon something it did not say, and then to refute the claim by scientific statements that have not been proven.” It looks like this is still the modus operandi that anti-Mormons like to attempt. It doesn’t work!

  • 105. Dennis  |  April 3, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    With that being said I will now turn my attention to exposing the Watchman Expositor!

    The first portion of this diatribe is nothing more then the description of finding the walls of Jericho. How long have they been looking for them? They even had a fixed location since the earliest of times. They knew where Jericho was. We are given place names and cities by the names as the Ancient inhabitants of this land had known them. Archaeology has only begun in this area and is barely 100 years old when dealing with Ancient America. In fact, more and more evidences are being found every day. Please see my list above. Those who say there is no archaeological evidence are blind or ignorant or both. But I digress. Allow me to continue.

    The Watchman says the following: “”The massive fortification of the site dating around AD 825 surpass anything found in Maya archaeology to date. The Book of Mormon description in Mormon 4:10 is being confirmed,” (Zarahemla Record, August 1989 p. 7). However, the Mormon 4:10 passage is dated, by the LDS Church itself, to be AD 364-375! A difference of 450 years.”

    Funny how they give no reference to their information so let me clarify the dates given by the church. These dates were the dates attributed to that site by archaeologists of that time (the time of this publication – and, be it known that this is not an official publication of the Church). They were not given by revelation! This site, Teotihuacan, has since been shown by archaeologists to pre-date Christ and is known to have already existed when the inhabitants of 825 AD stumbled upon it and made it their own. It is now dated between 500-200 BC (See Evans, S.T. (2004) “Ancient Mexico & Central America: Archaeology and Culture History”. London: Thames & Hudson).

    Therefore, we see again that the only statement that this site made concerning a supposed lack of evidence is proven false. You’ll have to try harder than that Joe if you want to make an impression. As stated before, you better come with your guns blazing because so far everything you have alleged has been proven false by non-LDS scholars in the realms of archaeology, DNA, anthropology, and linguistics.

    Your argument so far has been non-existent!

  • 106. Joe  |  April 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Dennis—-

    I appreciate the fact that you are a Mormon so you want everything to “fit” badly. If I were a Mormon I would be looking for ways to make things “fit” the Book also. The fact is though, no reputable college will reference the book of Mormon as reliable archaeologically, or historically, because nothing has ever been PROVEN to actually exist.

    The Bible can be studied as History due to archaeological finds, historical figures proven to exist, etc. etc. The writers of the Bible were very careful to mention exact dates, ocations, names of Kings or other persons in their oratory. Most of these can be proven to have existed. Unfortunately,
    this is not the case with the book of Mormon. Nothing has been proven to exist, or verified historically as “true”. At this point the “reality” of the Book of Mormon is in the same league as Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, Atlantis, Santa’s workshop and UFO’s. There is just no evidence that any of it
    ever happened.

    Of course, those who believe in Sasquatch or UFO’s will say there is an “overwhelming amount of evidence” for their existence. But that is because they WANT to believe in them. But even those who DO NOT WANT TO BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE are still faced with the fact that most of the places, and people spoken of in it did once exist. Whether they believe in Jesus, Herod, and Pilate did exist in the same time frame as the Bible states they did. You need faith to believe in Jesus, but you do not need faith to believe there was a Jerusalem,
    or a King Herod—–these are proven facts. You may believe the God of the Bible is just a “Spaghetti Monster”, but you can’t deny that the locales, and people mentioned historically in the same book are not accurate.

    With the book of Mormon however, not only do you need faith to believe in Christ—–you need faith to believe any of the sites or people mentioned were even real. This actually goes completely against the grain of scripture. In the Bible, first an accurately historical place or person is mentioned, and then an event that may take faith to believe. It is “fact” as a back-drop for faith one needs to believe the event.

    The Book of Mormon does not do this. The “facts” it gives cannot be proven–so there is no historical or archaelogical back-drop. Without this verification the whole book then becomes a fairy tale—which is exactly what it is.

  • 107. Joe  |  April 7, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Dennis—

    Perhaps it would be better to discuss these things elsewhere–it can become a long and engaging conversation,but not really meant for a “deconversion” Blog. Do you blog elsewhere regarding Mormon doctrine? Perhaps I could join you there to continue the conversation.

  • 108. Dennis  |  April 8, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    Joe: The fact is though, no reputable college will reference the book of Mormon as reliable archaeologically, or historically, because nothing has ever been PROVEN to actually exist.

    Dennis: I don’t have to make them fit. They just do. The linguistic, archaeological, anthroplogical and scientific proofs are there. And they have been confirmed by the nations top scientists, whether or not they adhere to the Book of Mormon there findings go with it hand in hand. I have shown the proofs that you are evidently too blind to see. I have hundreds of pages of these “proofs” and more than that I have the sure knowledge of tyhe spirit.

    Also, if you haven’t noticed BYU is a reputable University and their graduates are usually placed at the head of the line when it comes to applicants for a job. Their academic reputation challenges any of the ivy league schools.

    Joe: The Bible can be studied as History due to archaeological finds, historical figures proven to exist, etc. etc. The writers of the Bible were very careful to mention exact dates, ocations, names of Kings or other persons in their oratory. Most of these can be proven to have existed.

    Dennis: Are you sure about this statement? Has there been archaeological proof and sure evidence of Abraham (or has it just been a story passed down through the generations of Jewish folklore, how about Moses and the Exodus – no archaeological proof there either.) The problem is that there has been a constant knowledge of the Old World since the beginning. The New World is quite a different story. The natives of this land called thing by quite different names than those who came later did. You are not being very logical and are not thinking the situation through.

    Joe, the evidence is there for those willing to actually read the Book of Mormon (which it is obvious from your statements that you have not done, contrary to your affirmtion) and compare it to what we know. You have nothing on the Book of Mormon.

    Joe: and people mentioned historically in the same book are not accurate.

    Dennis: Okay show me proof that Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Methusaleh, Enoch, Job, etc. ever existed? We do have books that, through tradition, are attributed to Moses but there has never been one iota of proof from the scientific world that he ever existed.

    Joe: The Book of Mormon does not do this. The “facts” it gives cannot be proven–so there is no historical or archaelogical back-drop. Without this verification the whole book then becomes a fairy tale—which is exactly what it is.

    Dennis: You mean like Moses leading the tribes of Israel in a mass exodus out of Egypt or Johan being swallowed by a whale? Your logic here is fallacy and you if you were to apply the same logic the Book of Mormon that you apply to the Bible – just maybe your eyes would be opened.

    If you would like to further discuss the Book of Mormon or any other point of Mormonism I invite you to my personal blogsite – at http://logicalsanity.com. But I promise you that the Book of Mormon will wera you out long before you even begin to put a dent in it.

  • 109. Crill  |  April 22, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    If you have the Spirit (Holy Ghost) you will know the truth by the Spirit. People, persons, scientists, Phds, know so little. Every year we find scientists argue between them about truths, and many dont agree with each other. Dont put your trust in the arm of flesh, because you will be lost. Believe in God, obey his will, be humble, and if you do this it is more probably that you will get the Spirit. without the Spirit mankind will be lost and just trusting in their own wisdom and understanding. The book of Mormon is the Word of God, I know that by the Spirit, and that the Church is the true Church of the living God.

  • 110. BigHouse  |  April 22, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Interesting sentiment, Crill. Completely inactionable, but interesting.

  • 111. LeoPardus  |  April 22, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Let’s see:
    -Writes in run-on sentences
    -Can’t capitalize consistently
    -Can’t punctuate correctly
    -Doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of syntax

    And for all that he belittles Phds (sic).

    Yessirree Bobarino. We got a real genius here folks.

    Really makes me want to believe whatever he says.

  • 112. SnugglyBuffalo  |  April 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Indeed, if that’s “God’s wisdom,” I think I’m better off…

  • 113. Dennis  |  April 23, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Unbelief is such a sad thing. It must be an awful burden to believe that you are the greatest beings in the Universe and there is none above you. A bit egotistical, don’t you think?

  • 114. BigHouse  |  April 23, 2009 at 9:06 am

    A bit egotistical, don’t you think?

    The irony dripping from this statement is astounding.

  • 115. Joe  |  April 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Actually, I get Dennis’s point. There is an old Preacher on the radio named J. Vernon McGee. His defintion of an atheist is someone who says to God on his throne (in a very southern drawl):

    “Move over Gawd, there’s two of us now”.

  • 116. Franco  |  May 5, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    To all the Mormons/LDS reading this web. Here is something that you should think about…the first miracle of Jesus Christ was turning water into wine (John. 2: 11). Wine as in NOT fresh squeezed grape juice as often said during Gospel Doctrine classes in your church. Real bonafide wine with alcohol. Jesus probably enjoyed a few cups of wine during his mortal existence even during the last supper. Yes, according to the bible Jesus’ occupation was that of a wine maker. There’s no other written proof he was a carpenter as assumed and later formed his own religion at age 30 and claimed t be the son of god. At least Jesus performed miracles and Joseph Smith did not during his time. Apparently no LDS prophet performed any miracles not one. Let’s not mention this Priesthood power for it hasn’t healed anyone at all. If it is believed it can heal then the Mormon church can tell the world the power of Jesus is with them and doctors would be obsolete. But no we’re still researching cures for illnesses and the human body has the ability to heal on its own sometimes. the only truth I see in the Mormon church is this…It manipulates its members to be good people and submissive to its whim.

  • 117. Dennis  |  May 6, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Franco,

    Joeseph was a prophet. Jesus was the son og God. Joseph Smith did however perform many miracles and all you have to do is read the journals of those that witnessed them. He, through the power of Christ healed many sick and even raised the dead on the Banks of the Mississippi during the building of Nauvoo. There was a pentecost experience in the Kirtland temple just like those during the days of the apostles.

    I am alive today because as a child I was raised from my death bed by the Power of the Priesthood. I have been an instrument in God’s hands to heal a woman with a Brain tumor. So, yes, miracles did occur and still do in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • 118. Magnet  |  May 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    The biggest miracle Joseph Smith ever did was writing a really good “story”, and then getting over 10 million people to believe it’s true!! That is one heck of a miracle!

  • 119. LeoPardus  |  May 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Hilarity! :D

  • 120. Joe  |  May 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    http://www.moroni10.com/General_Conference/Joseph_Smith_Final_Talk.html

    Interestingly enough, Dennis deleted the above “sermon” from his blog and called it “unsubtantiated drivel”—yet the link above is to a Mormon site, and the very sermon comes from “History of the Church”. I found his deletion and comments to be interesting as it is part of Mormon history itself. I am posting in case any mormons have not read the sermon. It is actually very interesting and gives insight into what Smith actually taught when he was alive.

  • 121. Joe  |  May 6, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    By the way, I post the above because it always amazes me when ANY CHURCH finds the need to “hide” what their original leaders taught. In this case this sermon and one called “King Follett” can be found on LDS and non-LDS sites—-but there are Mormons who still feel the need to “hide” what has been taught because it is an embarrassment to them. Whenever something like that happens you can be assured there is a lot more hidden crap where that came from. LOL

  • 122. Joe  |  May 6, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Well, I checked back in, and due to “posting” an actual sermon of the Prophet Joseph Smith, taken from an LDS website, I was “banned” for being “hostile” from Dennis’s site. LOL That is a first for me—-being “banned” for using LDS history on an LDS site. :>) But I guess, what did I expect? :>)

    It’s actually good—this is the last post I will make concerning Mormonism. They not only revise their own history, they revise their own revisions concerning revisions. :>)

    Can anyone tell me where a Jehovah’s Witness blog is? They don’t like their own history either–but maybe I’ll give it a shot.

    see ya!!

  • 123. Dennis  |  May 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I informed Joe, by email, that this was not the reason that he was banned from the website. He was applying “bait and switch tactics” and attempting to run from the original topic, which is expresely forbidden, as posted in the rules of conduct. The site is for intellectual discussion with substantiated fact. I set it up this way to avoid strictly opinon peices. One is not to jump topic midstream and launch into another theme, He was warned and then he came back and posted anyway.

    I informed him on the blog that I would be more than happy to discuss his topic concerning the “plurality of gods” after we bedded down the other and he refused. This was the reason he was banned, if anyone cares.

    What Joe is expressing here is sour grapes at being barred from a site where he repeatedly broke the rules of discussion and conduct – not for the content he posted. But if Joe wishes to play this game so be it. It is just the case of another Evangelical that can’t support his claims and turns into a ravening wolf when backed into a corner, I’ve met far too many like this. Oh well, God bless the child!

  • 124. Dennis  |  May 7, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    Oh. and you can bet Joe will be back. He never leaves when he says he is. He ran off in huff and said the same four different times on my website each time to return with more venom and still refusing to substantiate his allegations.

    One can discuss any historical facet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that they would like on the site as long as they stay with the topic until an impasse is declared, as long as they substantiate their allegations with scholarly resources and citations. These are the rules and if one can not abide by them they should not enter in.

  • 125. Joe  |  May 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Dear Administrator—

    The two posts from Dennis are actually the reason I had asked that you go ahead and delete what I had originally posted. I was not “banned” for the reasons he gives, and I had not “left in a huff”. I was banned from the site after posting the link that appears in #120.

    Please read post #107 if one thinks I leave places in a “huff”. I had asked to move the discussion elsewhere. But since he “banned” me I thought I would share the link here. It doesn’t really matter any more now anyway—but I do have to defend myself in saying there was never any “venom” or “anger” involved. I was asking questions that irritate Mormons :>) and that is all. I’ve decided to irritate Jehovah’s Witnesses for a while. Sorry I got the dude so riled up by using sermons made by his own prophet. Oh well. LOL

  • 126. Joe  |  May 8, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Oh by the way, after experiencing this, can we change the title of the topic to 34 reasons?

    LOL

  • 127. Joe  |  May 8, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    From 124:

    “One can discuss any historical facet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that they would like on the site as long as they stay with the topic until an impasse is declared”

    Impasse: Anything from church Mormon church history that is embarrassing, resulting in a ban of the person presenting said inormation.

    Sorry—couldn’t resist. LOL From now on whatever happens in Utah stays in Utah.

  • 128. Dennis  |  May 13, 2009 at 12:49 am

    ¡Olé! ¡El toro pasa! y ésta herido con la espada de la lógica. Se cree que es peligroso, pero en verdad es simplemente un necio.

    He just couldn’t resist! I told you he’d be back! He never keeps his word.

    And he is back with lies. Anyone interested can just click my name and be transported to my blog to affirm his lies.

    For those who have visited the site from here, thanks.

    And I repeat:

    “One can discuss any historical facet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that they would like on the site as long as they stay with the topic until an impasse is declared, as long as they substantiate their allegations with scholarly resources and citations. These are the rules and if one can not abide by them they should not enter in.”

    However, unlike Joe, I am a man of my word and I will no longer post here. We have disagreements about faith and I realize this and respect anyone’s right to worship (or not worship) as they choose and only ask that they do the same.

    You are all free to now bash me and slander me to your hearts content. I will not reciprocate. May you all find peace and happiness in your lives!

  • 129. ubi dubium  |  May 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

    We have disagreements about faith and I realize this and respect anyone’s right to worship (or not worship) as they choose and only ask that they do the same.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! That’s one of my favorite things I have heard a theist say. The feeling is quite mutual.

  • 130. Joe  |  May 13, 2009 at 11:18 am

    One only need read Post #91 from Leo above, and then Dennis’ reply in #94 to see who this guy really is. He freely calls people “liars” etc. –which he has called me ad nausem. Oh well (sigh)– I see no need to continue with a ridiculous reply to that kind of nonsense any more.
    –Joe

  • 131. Joe  |  May 13, 2009 at 11:23 am

    I meant to say read post #91 through #94 consecutively for a good feel of how Dennis accepts criticism–especially of his novel sized posts. Don’t want to be accused of comparing to different posts to try to make a point—read them consecutively to really get the “feel” of it. LOL

  • 132. Franco  |  May 15, 2009 at 2:27 am

    “I have been an instrument in God’s hands to heal a woman with a Brain tumor. So, yes, miracles did occur and still do in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    Fantastic Dennis. I hope you make a crusade to heal those who are sick and dying. Life is so precious. Encourage your Mormon Prophet to practice the Power of the Priesthood by every Mormon to heal and bring about world peace. BTW– The Placebo effect is a miracle in itself. The human mind can do amazing things. The brain is the control center that influences the body. Change the thought pattern of the mind and the body reacts to it neither positive or negative. Adding medicinal substances helps too. Did the woman you have healed receive medical assistance or was it purely without medical intervention and solely on faith?

  • 133. Franco  |  May 15, 2009 at 2:58 am

    One more thing that always puzzled me. Being a non-Jew why would I believe in the Jewish God or Jesus Christ who claims to be the Son of the Jewish God? I don’t know why most Christians who are non-Jewish believe in the Jewish God who practices punishment and taking the life he has created by blood. Anyone care to explain?

  • 134. Davidius  |  May 15, 2009 at 8:30 am

    #18 (David V)
    “I notice that John doesn’t tell us which church is the “true church” of Jesus Christ, if not the “Mormon” Church. Which church has all of the perfect traits of Christ’s primitive Church that John feels are lacking in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Which has the true authority of the priesthood?”

    You assume that christ exists and that there is a One True Church.

    Frankly, I left the mormon church because of problems with christianity on the whole and then later (some of this is new to me) learned all the dirt on mormonism.

  • 135. Gab  |  May 28, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    You forgot to mention the Mark Hoffman Affair. That is a blow to the Mormon CHurch

  • 136. Tina  |  June 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I am concerned about my daughter. We just moved to a southern town where I THOUGHT my biggest problem would be bible belt baptism… NOPE…. lots o mormons here and now she’s entrenched with several. I don’t mind believing in what one wants to believe in… it’s just if she becomes enamored by the “family” story they sell and she chooses to convert, does she really understand how exclusionary this religion will be to HER PARENTS? We’re loving, involved, parents — very supportive of her endeavors– open minded and willing to discuss all sides of a topic–but this group scares me.

    Again, logic only goes so far with a teen.

    My only hope is to keep reminding her that if she converts, what’s the point of educating herself beyond highschool? she’s extremely bright and wants to go to Princeton.

  • 137. Tina  |  June 3, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    BTW, as long as she is a minor, we will say NO to this idea. And we’ll actively work on deprogramming her.

  • 138. LeoPardus  |  June 4, 2009 at 10:53 am

    does she really understand how exclusionary this religion will be to HER PARENTS?

    You’ll have to try telling her that. And tell her education will not be very valuable. You might see if she’ll look in on this site or our community site.

    Keep close to her. Make sure she knows that you truly love her. Even if she “converts”, parents who love her will mean more than “friends” who want a notch in their “gospel gun” in the long run.

  • 139. Ubi Dubium  |  June 4, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    We’ve worked hard to “vaccinate” our kids against being sucked in by all the happy-clappiness. Mostly, we’ve worked hard to educate them about as many religions and mythologies as possible. They know the Greek myths, and we read a bunch of the Norse ones together. I’ve encouraged them to read sections of the bible, especially stories like Lot, or Joshua or Jephtha. We’ve talked about karma, and reincarnation, and how setting aside your own common sense infavor of what somebody tells you some god wants is really really dangerous. We’ve discussed pattern recognition, false positives and confirmation bias.

    Right now, their reaction to preachers is to laugh at the very notion of believing wholeheartedly in any of it. And they’d probably try to tell the preacher all about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn. Education is the best defense.

  • 140. orDover  |  June 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I agree with Ubi that education can be helpful, but you have to keep in mind the lure of rebellion. Doesn’t it always seem that the more a parent tells their teen not to do something, the more attractive it becomes? This can be especially damaging for a religion. If you push against her converting, her Mormon friends could use that as “proof” that she has discovered the truth, that she is being persecuted for trusting in the truth that everyone else, including her parents, are trying to suppress. That kind of attitude will only drive her deeper into the church.

    It seems to me that the best thing to do in this situation is just to let her convert, but be open with her about the drawbacks. Explain how you two will now be alienated from each other. Explain why you personally reject Mormonism. Keep in mind she’s doing this because of the pull of her friends, which means it could be a phase that she will outgrow once she moves on to college and is around a different set of people.

    But honestly, I think that keeping her from converting will only make the religion more alluring. As teens, we all struggled to form an autonomous identity. Let her form hers, even if you fundamentally disagree with it. Give her the right to disagree with you. If my parents would do that, maybe we’d actually have a real relationship, instead of this one built on lies.

  • 141. SnugglyBuffalo  |  June 4, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Frankly, there’s no way to absolutely prevent her from converting; you can’t control what she believes, whether she lives under your roof or not. Next thing you know, she’s going to “hang out with friends,” when in reality she’s sneaking off to Mormon church services (ah, I remember my days of playing DnD without my parents’ knowledge well).

    The moment you become forceful about this, she’ll probably just become even more entrenched.

  • 142. Joe  |  June 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    “Right now, their reaction to preachers is to laugh at the very notion of believing wholeheartedly in any of it. And they’d probably try to tell the preacher all about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn. Education is the best defense”.

    Ubi—

    You may want to read the testimony of William J. Murray, son of Madlyn Murray O’Hair, who used to be the President of a large atheistic organization and was later killed. I think you probably recall the name. He was ‘used’ by her in her famous case in the courts which overturned prayer in schools. He later became a born-again christian. Your children may laugh now, but one never knows what will happen in the future.

    http://www.missionresources.com/atheist.html

  • 143. Joe  |  June 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    The above is an old link. I’m sure there are newer ones. I just grabbed a link which references him. He is still a Christian in 2009.

  • 144. Frreal  |  June 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Also could say, you are welcome to choose your own path but you might want to make an informed decision then inform her of this atrocity and that. That God had Moses kill all the little boys and pregnant women but let the soldiers keep the virgins for themselves as prizes. Or if she wouldn’t mind be considered unclean for one week every month and asked to leave town. Or if she wouldn’t mind if her husband had a concubine or 700. Not necessarily Mormon doctrine but it’s in the “good” book so it must be “good” no?

  • 145. Rover  |  June 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    The unfortunate thing about Mormonism is that it is not usually the theology that attracts a person it is the strong social aspect of the religion. Mormons are very “pack” oriented. Unfortunatley you will have to keep her from the pack, but that could result in rebellion and have the opposite affect. Makes you appreciate a good old wishy washy evangelical like myself.

  • 146. Franco  |  June 13, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Tina,

    If your daughter has a crush on a a mormon boy then you could be in for a struggle of wills. She doesn’t ‘see’ the mormon doctrine but if she does then there’s no real problem. One thing you should know is that mormons rely on ‘feelings’ and the feeling of the holy ghost. That feeling is simple to explain…its the same kind of feeling of the fight or flight response and its base on one’s fear. Imagine a strong feeling of warning but when missionaries talk about hope and salvation and the good idea of families together forever after life it sounds appealing. But in actuality it is a feeling of danger but its sugar coated with positive reinforcement. Its a cult device. If your daughter is believing the doctrine then you have to ask her to look on both sides of the coin. The simple way is to find a copy of the PBS Nova documentary titled Mormons. It’s full of actual facts and what happened in mormon history. The thing that amazes me about the show it shows Joseph Smith ordering a newspaper printing press to be destroyed and the kinderhook plates fiasco. good luck.

  • 147. Jared  |  June 16, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    I was born mormon but do not pratice it. Are you kidding me this 33 reasons why are false and go against what I was taught. Why dont you pick on a church that rapes there youth.

  • 148. Franco  |  June 20, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Hey Jared what’s worst physical or spiritual rape?

  • 149. joe  |  June 21, 2009 at 5:12 am

    we tend to think that god did not favor people. in the old testament we see that only levites were able positions in the church. We learn that the dark skin was passed upon cain and his decendants. the gospel was not even openly accepted to go to the gentiles until christ died. in church history we learn that the apostles struggled with leadership, even christ with his apostles. they lacked in a lot of areas. are we to assume that the apostles were not men of god becuase they were not perfect. heck peter denied him three times, judas gave him up, thomas did not have enough faith, im not for the mormons but i sense hypocrasy in a lot of what is being said. Its not the people that are perfect but the church.

  • 150. Franco  |  June 24, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Joe,

    The church is perfect? Fact: it is not. I don’t want a god who created me as a failed experiment and punishes me for its mistake. Yes, I did write ‘it’ because I don’t know if god has a gender. All assumes god is a him when in fact life is created in a womb of the female. So religion is based on feelings and ideas and not fact. Religion was formed out of the bureaucracy of slavery. I know I am created just as I was meant to be and so is everyone else. Religion distorts that reality by making humans think they’re inferior and imperfect enough to have needs for repentance. Repent for what– being a human being who can think??? If you have chosen to be in religion you have chosen to be a spiritual slave. I for one is not a slave and the god that created me (if it exist) allows me to be human. The new human evolution is coming and it’s not physical or spiritual but mental. Get ready.

  • 151. Don Hislop  |  June 26, 2009 at 4:08 am

    The Shepherding movement is well in Yucapa, with love brother, with love, Don Hislop, from Lower Lake High, ’75

  • 152. R  |  June 28, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Hello Mr. Mrlucidity!

    I am very much interested in getting to know your take on my situation, as a very much rooted Mormon growing up, as well serving a full time mission such as yourself; funny thing or rather relation to our stories, I almost went to Germany/Deutschland myself, but the church shouldn’t include a “where would you like/love to go section, if they pay no heed to it man!”

    My take is that MORMONISM, is a way to use/attempt to use it as a racism excuse, teaching your kids racism and instilling fear in them to raise them; as well a massive problem as you so well put it, is that the church is most definitively in POLITICS! Also, they never go by the phrase we all know very well, which is: “Judge Not That Ye Be Not Judged, Hate The Sin Not the Sinner…”

    This deserves it’s own section! They are the most racist, homophobic, banefully abhorrent Judgmental sect of any in existance throughout the world…

    Please, MrLucidity, if you see this I’d love very much to hear from you my friend, maybe we can set up a decent and friendly online chat amongst us, then see about doing some good in the way of getting Mormonism eradicated truly as it’s horrible… I can relate to much of what your story was, it’s as if I was looking in the mirror bro! So please it’d help me much to hear from you and likely help me and strengthen me, as I live amongst so many members of the church it’s redicoulous man…

    Take care, all best and keep on keepin’ on my friend Lucidity and all in similar positions and keep up the fight…

    Much Peace,
    Rich

  • 153. Fred  |  July 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Would someone please explain to me why Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon in the 1830s in the tone, vocabulary and style of 16th Century England and not in the language of his day? Was it just to make it seem more like the King James Bible and therefore somehow more “godly”? Or was it because if he wrote it in the language of his day, people would have laughed at it? To me, the BoM is a “knock off”.

  • 154. Fred  |  July 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Oops, I’m sorry. I realize that my question was dealt with in reason 1. I still strikes me as perhaps the most ludicrious thing in all Mormonism.

  • 155. Fred  |  July 15, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I’m sorry to “hog” the posts, but I have wondered why would a “God” even need to have a gender? Does God have sex? I don’t mean to be funny, but really this is one of the hundreds of reasons why I woke up and realized I was a true atheist. “God” didn’t create humans, humans created “God” in their own image.

  • 156. Loren  |  July 16, 2009 at 7:21 am

    I just read the main article and found it very good.

    I was active LDS for 30 years, until i got tired of it and then a few yrs later I came out and was glad my beliefs had changed… I didnt have to let myself hate who i am and refused any counseling…

    I have always been independent and freethinking, a reader with interest in other spiritual ways… now i just like the golden rule with no organization to be brainwashed or controled by…

    recently I read of a new Reform Mormonism philosophy, which allows you to think and believe what is good for YOU and there is no group to join or to pay $$ to. It is a liberal outlook deal that welcomes gays and teaches equality for all classes They have a very good webpage, just google it by name.

  • 157. Al  |  July 28, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I was born into Mormonism, read the Book
    of Mormon many times, prayed about it.
    Still don’t believe it’s a book from God, Cities in the BOM have never been found, and what about the Older JD, and what Mormons prophets said, and then changed many times up untill modern day, to meet the standard. You can’t change history. You can’t say that a person is a prophet of God, if the change prophicy, to fit the times.
    Read a JD around 1953, and the one that is one line today, hardly the same book.
    but supposed to be the words of the prophits? To many questions, not enough
    truthful answers?

  • 158. Kennit Barban  |  September 8, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    mormons are phony and this ex-morm is telling it like it is. Joe Smith was as phony as a sixteen dollar bill and after he joined the Masons suddenly this “church” had all of the Masonic rituals. How convenient! Pay lay ale? BWAAAHAHAHA!….Not even close phonies. And look at them try to distance themselves from Mountain Meadows and polygamy and the rest of their wrongs. This so-called “church” is as phony as Bill and Hiliary Klowntoon!

  • 159. Joe  |  September 8, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    So then what you are saying is that the $16.00 bill I’ve been saving all of these years isn’t genuine? What about the $3.00 bill in my safety deposit box? Geez—what a letdown.

  • 160. Renegade  |  September 9, 2009 at 1:37 am

    I have been a Mormon for 27 years (born into the “covenant”, indoctrinated and baptized at 8, served a mission to South America, married in the temple, held leadership positions from teaching in Sunday school to leadership within the Elder’s quorum, to assistant in Branch presidencies . . .), but the last several months, the whole structure I have built my system of beliefs upon has come crashing down on me, as I have gradually come to realize the imaginary elements of Mormonism are comparable to those of the story of the Emperor’s new clothes.

    “You can’t reason someone out of a position they did not reason themselves into.” And so I won’t try. I only want to throw out my thoughts on Joseph Smith.

    Mormons love to talk about how Joseph Smith was such an “unlearned” man, with the equivalent of a third grade education. Neither of his parents were particularly educated, and being raised on a farm, he probably never had much chance to pursue education himself. Mormons flash these statements like facts and then compare them to the Book of Mormon and ask, “If Joseph Smith supposedly wrote the Book of Mormon, then how could an unlearned man like him have created such a work?”

    To those, I would suggest they think about their premises. I’m not sure if everyone here has seen the movie, “The Prestige”, but in that movie an important concept is put forth: For some people, their illusion is so important that they are willing to live their entire lives disguised as something they are not. For them, the illusion IS their life, and any sacrifice they must make to keep up the illusion is worth it. When you look at it in this light, it’s not really that big of a deal to think about how an “unlearned” man could have written a book like the book of Mormon (with all of it’s accuracies and contradictions). Joseph Smith was an intelligent bastard, and knew exactly what he was doing. He organized the “saints” in a very effective manner, and was quite sly at his governing of the church. And with all of that, we’re supposed to believe that this man was actually “unlearned”? All because it seemed like he had a hard time even doing simple tasks like dictating letters?

    That’s why it’s a Prestige. It’s the coup de grace of an illusion, the crowning moment when everyone suspends their disbelief. They put their skepticism on the back burner and allow themselves to believe in the illusion.

    Along these lines, I would be interested to see what a Mormon Apologist who refutes this suggestion and holds fast to the idea that Joesph Smith translated the Book of Mormon because it is just too “complicated” for an unlearned man to do such a thing, would say about Muhammad and his “revelation” of the Qu’ran. Revelation or Brilliant bullshit?

    The tricky thing about all of this is that it is more important to keep our minds focused on the evidence we can see before we throw ourselves into the hook of any belief system.

    And here’s a quote from a man who Mormons believe appeared (along with the other founding fathers) in the Saint George UT temple to the (then) current Mormon prophet, claiming that they all wanted to be baptized (vicariously) into the Mormon Faith so they could get out of the Spirit Prison and finally get into the Spirit Paradise to await the resurrection:

    “He is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

  • 161. Joe  |  September 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Renegade—-

    One interesting fact. The Mormon faith is based on the premise that an angel named “Moroni” pointed to a hill called “Cumorah” where some plates were buried.

    Interestingly enough, Joe Smith was into pirate treasure, and Captain Kidd supposedly buried a large cache in the Comoros Islands. What is the capitol of the Comoros Islands (in place BEFORE the book of Mormon was written)? Moroni. Yes—Moroni was a name in existence before the book was written, and just happens to be the capitol of an Island that Captain Kidd buried treasure upon. :>)

    Moroni, Comoros. Moroni—Cumorah.

    Just coincidence? LOL

  • 162. LeoPardus  |  September 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Renegade:

    Glad you’ve found your way free. Hope you do OK with the family and friends when they find out. Keep dealing with TRUTH; it’s worth it to be an honest person.

  • 163. Anonymous  |  October 12, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Almost every comment I have read misses the point, and that is that the commentators believe that there is a better church out there that more\b closely conforms to the New Testament. I was a member of the LDS church for forty years and I enjoyed it very much. I have no chip on my shoulders concerning it. I often think back of my Mormon years with nostalgia.
    My reason for leaving is simply because the Mormon church and also the Book of Mormon are based on the premise that the New Testament is the true and inspired work of the Holy Ghoist inspiring the authors to write the true gospel. How wrong I was! The New Testament is a conglomeration of 27 books, all except a handfukl of them are forgeries, yes FORGERIES. It is a battlefield of changes and corruption of texts amounting to some 30,000 of them between the oldest and the latest manuscripts available to us (including spelling errors of course). The oldest text avilable to us are the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanis, both dating from about the middle of the fourth century. Interestingly enough, there are about 3,000 textual differences between these two codices. These codices are preceded by some 150 years of textual changes. There is no way of knowing to what extent changes were made to the gospels alone, but there are indications that the number is huge. It is unfortunate that no original copies are available to us today. Iit has been establihed beyond any doubt that the four gospels were not written by the men whose names are attached to them. They are plainly forgeries. Only a handful of Paul’s letters are authentic, but goodness knows to what extent they were edited by the developing Christianity in the third century, i.e., the Orthodoxy, which developed into the Roman Catholic church in the fourth century. It turned from a religion into an instrument of power, and became the cause of millions upon millions of killings.
    The above is the reason why I left the Mormon church. I studied not only the scriptures, but also well beyond them. The Mormon church is a wonderful church that does more good for humanity than any other church I know of. If you are a member and are thinking of leaving for the trivial reasons put forth by the various apostates or would-be apostates, and if you believe in God, stay where you are. It is the best church on earth. It is my belief that all churches as well as the Bible are man-made. You need companionship as we all do. You can find no better source than the Mormon church.
    Anonymous humanist.

  • 164. JLee  |  November 9, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    This is very interesting reading. The Lord God said any creed or writings in addition to the Bible is more than we need. The last words of the Bible warn of such “additions” and since Mormons believe in the Bible, I’ve often wondered how they could read that make God’s word jive with “another testament.”

  • 165. Quester  |  November 10, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Those last words are only referring to the Book of Revelations, not the whole Bible.

  • 166. Shelama  |  December 15, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I finally left the Mormon church after I finally actually studied the Bible and left Christianity.

    More than anything, Mormonism goes to show that anyone who can believe in a literal Adam & Eve, Garden of Eden, talking donkey, virginal conception of Jesus, walking on water, raising the dead, an “empty tomb,” and bloody human Jesus sacrifice for sin, can believe anything.

  • 167. Joe  |  December 15, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    (#166)

    I saw this internet add for a robotic “monk” who will do your praying and believing for you. You program it and it will say your prays for you while you sit in your LAZY boy with a glass of Iced Tea. The add said:

    “It will believe things for you that they wouldn’t even believe in Salt Lake City!” :)

  • 168. keith  |  February 10, 2010 at 5:31 am

    There are millions who can easily refute everything you have stated (33 reason why to left the Mormon church) by unpaid members/scholars, who have investigated these very issues far more than you have. Your claims must make you feel very important and intelligent man, (the devil does that well) and your right and the 13 million LDS members all mislead. You must have a 200 IQ, and a different faith indeed.
    Sad to see another member fallen by the wayside, and used as a tool of the devil– another Korhor indeed. Best of luck when you stand before God and explain this persecution, then again you have little a little season to do some real study and soul searching if you can humble yourself? Better yet bring your attitude to court and see how your views stand up verses what the church actually teaches. Many tried and failed with the same issues you are struggling with in your ignorance, then again with your greater intellectualism and faith maybe you can gain the fame of finally proving the BOM wrong, in court.
    I’m sure BYU would take you up on it if your game. Go ahead bring Beckley type legal students/ professors, the greatest Korhor’s you can solicit (both paid and unpaid) to prove the Book of Mormon false in a simulated court of law, taped on line. Then we can see who has the real intellectual honesty, and whose really being bamboozle! Ultimately we will have court before God and the person whose wrong will stand before God wishing they were never born if their works and life was about damning others with falsehoods.

  • 169. Shelama  |  February 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

    BYU professors were brainwashed as children to BELIEVE before they could think. Such childhood brainwashing can be durable, even life-long. BYU professors have an extraordinarily profound psycho-emotional investment in Mormonism. That a BYU-professor can find an apologetic that satisfies him/herself is not surprising given Mormon childhood brainwashing that began, 24/7, in the crib. There’s a good reason why such brainwashing doesn’t wait even for the ‘age of accountability.’

  • 170. Jake  |  February 10, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I agree with your decision 100% and hope that you continue to share your story and reasoning with more people – especially the young. So often people are afraid that they’ve spent such a large part of their life believing the wrong thing, that their minds will rationalize every little bit of evidence against the actual truth. It is no surprise that it is often when people are desperate that they turn to the church.

    Jake

  • 171. slandy candy  |  February 28, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    you have some good facts but have interperated them rong and are missing alot of the meaning behind why thigs have happened the way they have and some stuff is twisted out of contact. theres more to every thing then just phisical facts.

  • 172. Get A.  |  May 12, 2010 at 6:04 am

    HAHAHA! Get a life nerd. You must have gotten butt-hurt over something and you have no balls and are pathetic. Scouttroops are an actual reason you left a church?? Go change your diapers crybaby. You are pathetic!

  • 173. portwes  |  May 21, 2010 at 1:08 am

    To John, and others doubting their faith (even though this is a couple of years on!):

    Please realize the “GetA” (previous comment) is a gold-plated jerk, the kind which exists in every hue and variation of belief and non-belief.

    Why people like him need to be so vicious, is something that a psychiatrist could tell us, so that maybe we could exercise compassion towards his stunted ego. I experienced something similar when I posted my new de-conversion story on ex-christian.com a couple of years back.

    I’m sure that John is further on in his journey out of the church by now. Maybe he has even come to see that belief in a personal god is equally as vacuous as a belief in a sectarian god. What really matters, though, is that we all are continuously curious and searching for rational thinking, not afraid to open our minds to new and broader perspectives of life and the universe.

  • 174. | Miguel Lomelino  |  May 21, 2010 at 8:07 am

    [...] 33 reasons why I left the mormon church [...]

  • 175. Richard Osborne  |  May 22, 2010 at 12:16 am

    You and Steve Benson have something in common: you both hate the Church because its not Liberal enough! Yet, its the Liberal meatheads that are ruining the Church!

    I agree with most of what you say but not the part about race. Its Kimball and Hinkley that are wrong about race, not Brigham Young, Mark E. Peterson, or Bruce R. McConkie. What is it about colored people that you find so attractive? Ugh! I wish they would all leave.

    And the reason the DNA doesn’t match is because skin color is NOT the only difference in the races! The Lamanites were changed into a different race of people. Injuns today are a different race of people. Different. Not the same. And, yes, we Nordics are a superior race.

  • 176. Robin Black  |  July 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    I found this site interesting. I am an disenchanted LDS member.
    Through my own study of the history of the church I have found stories that were never told to me, such as Joseph Smith being arrested for detroying a printing press, I was led to believe he was martyred for his faith and mention of a press was never brought up. So many other things to talk about but hey, this alone bothers me very much. I feel saddened about the “truth” now.

  • 177. Rose  |  July 30, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    “Also, where are the bones, swords and armor from the epic battles that took place at the Hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon”
    Um, I’m not Mormon, but my family is, from what I gather the Hill Cumorah where the great battle took place were in either Central or South America. I believe any lack of archelogical evidence is due to the fact that the jungle “eats” things. Anything made of wood would have been moistened by the air and molded away; anything made of rock would have been slowly eroded by roots, wind, and rain, the same end for bones; anything made of metal would have been rusted within twenty years from humidity. It’s amazing that the pyramids and temples that were constructed are still standing, but even they are being devoured by the surrounding fauna.

    Also, I must say, you should go to church to love God, not be “promoted” in a lateral calling system, and not to gain social superiority over your peers.

  • 178. Adrienne Potter  |  August 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    De-Conversion is not an appropriate name for this website. People who are “de-converted” were never truly converted. All of the reasons people give above for leaving the church boil down to one thing: They don’t have a testimony of Jesus Christ. He taught tolerance. I don’t see that here. He taught forgiveness. I don’t see that here. He taught humility, obedience, respect for others, being a team-player, faith, and charity. Try criticising that.

    Is the church perfect? Of course not, because it is run by imperfect men. But the doctrine is perfect, and as we come to understand the doctrine the church becomes better. I saw many things above that were called “doctrine” but were actually false traditions. For example, no where in the D&C does it advocate plural marriage. It advocates celestial marriage. The church was allowed to practice plural marriage for a time, but then discontinued it. Many of the excellent leaders of today descend from these polygamous families.

    It is innappropriate and un-American to blame the church for the actions of those who chose to disobey the manifesto that abolished polygamy. Eveyone is responsible for their own actions. It is innapropriate to blame the church if someone hurt your feelings or sinned against you. These offenders will have their just reward when the time is right. What is appropriate is to study the life of the Savior and follow him.

    Adrienne Potter
    Founder, Kids In Danger (K.I.D.)
    http://www.kidsindanger.net
    Director, http://www.kidsread.net

  • 179. Ubi Dubium  |  August 7, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Oh, goody. Another drive-by who didn’t bother to READ THE POSTS NEXT TO THE BIG RED EXCLAMATION POINT. Shake the dust off your sandals, Adrienne, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • 180. BigHouse  |  August 7, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    The kids under your care are in danger alright…

  • 181. Rexburg Idaho  |  August 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Mormons are the most Obnoxious, Big time wannabes, shit talking, mother fuckers I have ever lived around.

  • 182. Joseph Smith  |  August 17, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I agree and I founded the dang thing.

  • 183. Brian  |  August 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    You are so right about everything you are saying, I have had these same feeling as well. I’m sick of these FAKE members that live behind closed doors also. I really see these members true faces when there not inside the walls of church. This really is a punch in the heart, and kind of plays on the real sincere individual who is in tuned.

  • 184. Joe Namath  |  August 30, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    This is the Gayest thing i have read in a long while. For a Mathematician you sure have no evidence or references to back up all your ¨claims.¨ You sound like all the other gay ex-mormon crybabies on the internet. (pun intended) Admit it, you just feel unhappy and rejected because the church won´t accept your sinful behavior. Even if you do feel that way, don´t you think its childish to lash out like you are doing. Dude after having read all your 33 points, its obvious you have a self image problem. Newsflash..it´s not the church´s fault!! Get over it, decide to be happy and go to a psychologist if you have a self image problem. I can guarantee you that the church is not the source of your personal problems. And sheesh..if it´s that hard being a fag and gay..is it really worth it??

  • 185. Garth  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I found this website by accident as I was looking for lies being told by the Mormon church. I totally agree with that fact he left, even though it must have been hard. Nobody ever makes a bad decision about anything, as people only make the best decision based on what they know at the time. And for all those that are still in the church, here is something to think about. It is much easier to find the truth if you stop thinking you have the truth. I was baptized into the Mormon church by a first cousin once removed at the stake center beside the temple right outside of Washington DC. I had been born like everyone on here, a sinner, except that I went to whatever Independent Baptist Church we could find at the time as my father was military. I never understood a lot of things that were done, and they were never explained to me either. I happen to be a very logical person as I went to college to get a degree in Computer Science. So I look at thinks logically, and not based on feelings or anything like that which is subjective as opposed to objective. If the LDS church were really true, there wouldn’t be any reason for all the people that point out the faults, and errors of the way of the LDS church, that don’t even know each other. The odds of many people coming up with the same conclusions about the lack of credibility of the BOM without any contact with each other, I’m sure is quite astronomical, unless of course the BOM wasn’t true and didn’t have any evidence to back it up.

    The Bible can be validated by archaeological evidence, and that includes things made of durable metals such as bronze, and pots. Even from a scientific point of view, there are things in the Bible that have been found to be true, such as rivers under the oceans, just don’t ask me where other than I remember reading about them. Scientists have discovered there is a river with distinct channels running on the ocean floor without walls containing the rivers. The Mormon church denies the Deity of Jesus Christ when they call Him a spirit brother of satan. If that is the case, why didn’t satan hang on the cross instead of Jesus Christ? All the prophets in the Old Testament pointed to the coming of the Messiah, and they did it independently of each other as well. How many prophets from the old days of the LDS church through now have made prophesies that actually have come true? All their prophecies must come true, otherwise they would not be a true prophet of God.

    When Glen Beck recently said that the Mormons were the only religion singled out by the government to be killed on sight, that is not true as it was because the Mormons in Missouri had waged war against the state as well as violating the laws of the state. So it wasn’t because they were Mormons is why they were being sought after, but rather the fact they were terrorist of the day using religion, much like terrorists use Islam for the purposes of killing people.

    When it comes to celestial marriage, that’s not what Jesus said in the New Testament. Someone tried to trick Him by asking which brother would have the wife in heaven after she had been married to each of, I believe, seven brothers. Each of the brothers dies making her a widow so she marries the next one in line. Jesus said that she would not belong to none of them because there would not be marriages in heaven between a man and a woman.

    If Joseph Smith were alive today and did today what he did then, he would have been locked up in jail for being a pedophile, among the other things. He said that members were to abstain from alcohol as well as caffeine, yet, he himself used all of them. There is much documentation from many sources, including from the church itself, that would prove that the LDS church is not what it really claims to be. Anything that the church has to prove what everyone else knows to be true, is usually buried and unavailable for research, especially if it shows the truth and it’s not advantageous to the church.

    People that are branded as anti-mormon, are not really anti-mormon at all, but rather anti-lies, and love the people that are trapped in a cult that they are too blind to see because they are so involved in it. It is much easier to get a diagnosis from someone that is a doctor than to try to diagnosis yourself. When multiple sources, that are independent of each other, all come to the same conclusion about something, without anything to gain, you can usually take it to the bank and believe what they are saying. And when it comes to the BOM, that is so true as it has been revised so many times because of all the errors that have been pointed out over the years.

    And it’s also rather ironic that the LDS actually uses the King James Bible in their church. If it isn’t translated properly, then why are they using it at all? I go to an independent Baptist church that can trace it’s lineage all the way back to the days when Jesus walked the face of the earth. If one uses logic, and reason, both of which are lacking in the LDS community because it would not serve the LDS church, the has never been a time anywhere in history where the Spirit of God has left the earth. If that was the case, the Jesus would have been a liar as He said after He left, another one would come to take His place until He comes again. Jesus also said he would never leave or forsake you either.

    And I leave you with this. “Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved” That means you will be, not might be, and that is all you have to do to be saved. Nobody can ever know if they’ve ever done enough to get to heaven for it is also written, “There is none righteous, no not one”. Most importantly, to quote John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whomsoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have ever lasting life”. It was Jesus dying on the cross that made it possible for any and all people to go to heave and it’s a free gift. God only has one special Son, and that is Jesus.

    If you want to know more about reasons as to why the LDS church, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventist, and Islam are all false, then you should also check out http://www.ftfacts.com for a well thought out, with verification as to the facts supporting each statement and the conclusions that are based on facts, not feelings. Facts do not change, but feelings too.

  • 186. Garth  |  September 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I forgot to mention, that if you have access to a fax machine, it is really easy to not just become no longer a mormon, but also to have your name removed from their records. I found a website that gives the information you need to tell them, including that you do not want further contact and it’s not needed. Interestingly enough, you’ll get a letter from the main headquarters in SLC telling you that it’s an ecclesiastical matter that has to be referred to the local bishop. Next, you’ll get a letter from the local bishop asking you to reconsider and whoever that might be will let you know that if you want someone to come out and talk to you, they will send someone. After they realize you aren’t interested, it will go back to SLC and then you get a nice letter saying that they have removed you from their records. Ironically, I got that letter from them on my birthday two years ago on July 18. I had been a Mormon that hadn’t set foot in a LDS church since 1984. And even back then, I knew there was something not right about it, especially about how they put more emphasis on the BOM than they did the King James Bible!

    It’s also interesting that there is a spell check on here, yet why don’t people bother to use it? Everyone that uses the internet can’t be that ignorant can they? And for those that want to say something about why I left the church, say what you will about my decision, but remember, regardless of what you say or believe, it was my decision based on clear, rational, and logical thinking by looking at the evidence and it just wasn’t there to support anything the LDS church was putting out. The evidence that supports the King James 1611 Bible is overwhelming! There isn’t any credible evidence to support anything that is talked about in the BOM. Anyone with a calculator can prove that the growth rate needed to populate a new land was not possible back then because that hasn’t happened even by today’s standards, especially with all the women having multiple births beyond two or three.

    I have nothing against those that are in the LDS church, as I feel sorry for them being victims. In anything that is wrong, there are villains and victims. I used to be a victim, but not anymore. For me to have known the truth and still been lying to people would have made me a villain.

  • 187. hartsf  |  October 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    For those who choose to put aside any and all critical thinking skills and blindly follow the Mormon church and feel edified, so be it.

    But, for many who see this organization as something that is inhibiting, restrictive and a waste of time—time to just ‘move on’.

    There will always be a segment of society that cannot function without an organization like the LDS church to tell them what and how to live their lives–look at the Moonies, Scientology and others that continue to have followings.

    It is refreshing that many are seeing this organization for what it is—and their agenda to monopolize their members time, thoughts and of course, take their monies. It’s never about religion, it’s about power and control.

    I am sure that the creation of the Internet–and the free-flow of information about the LDS church is something that has stalled their growth and severely reduced activity within their membership. If they had the power, you can bet they would try to stop the flow of any information they deemed harmful to their power.

    Too bad that the information they dread is out there; like cockroaches, they hate the light of facts and truth.

  • 188. Mr-G  |  October 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    There is only 1 true church and that is the Catholic church. We still worship the way that Jesus & his disiples did almost 2,000 years ago. So how can a religion that is not even 200 years old be right when the C.C still is learning things about our Lord? I pray for all those lost and confused.

  • 189. cag  |  October 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    Mr-G #188.
    Two thousand years of wrong is still wrong. We don’t mind if you pray for the religious (lost and confused) as long as you do not pray for us atheists.

  • 190. Mr-G  |  October 28, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I pray for everyone friend. Even Atheists.

  • 191. Mr-G  |  October 28, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I pray for everyone friend. Even Atheists. You may not know God, but He knows you!

  • 192. Ubi Dubium  |  October 29, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Yes, and has touched us all with His Noodly Appendage. It’s very very thoughtful of you to be mumbling to your invisible friend on our behalf. While you are at it, would you put in a good word for us with Santa and the Great Pumpkin? I sure they know us too.

    Sheesh.

  • 193. ACN  |  October 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    “We still worship the way that Jesus & his disiples did almost 2,000 years ago”

    doubtful and irrelevant.

  • 194. Mr-G  |  October 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Its okay that yall dont believe in God. To each his own. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. @ACN. How can you say doubtful? If you havent believed then how could you possibly know? Thats what makes this country great!

  • 195. cag  |  October 31, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Mr-G, the reason we don’t believe is that there has never been a god (out of the thousands of gods postulated by humans), there are no gods and in the future there will be no gods. It is easy for theists to say there is a god who, very conveniently, does not ever show itself to humans, answers all prayers most of the time with a NO and of course it loves us. With cancer, ebola, AIDS, encephalitis etc. etc. this god of yours shows its love.
    Two millenia ago the people of Rome believed in the Roman gods, those of Greece the Greek gods, the nordic people believed in the Norse gods, the Aztecs believed in their gods and non believers were not exactly treated in a friendly manner. How can any sane individual believe that, yes, the thousands of other gods were all generated by the human mind but our “god” is real.
    Verbal arguments (apologetics) are not evidence. If your god is real, I challenge it to strike me dead upon submission of this posting.

  • 196. cag  |  October 31, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    That omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, omnibenevolent god of yours has none of those qualities. The only trait that your (not mine) god has is omninonexistence. I’m still here, and not afraid of the non existent.

    Mr-G, yours is the god that never was, isn’t and never will be.

  • 197. Ubi Dubium  |  October 31, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    If you havent believed then how could you possibly know?

    Mr-G, you don’t know where you are, do you? This website is full of people who once believed as deeply and fervently as you do. But now they don’t. Next time you try to assure yourself that you have no doubts, remember us.

  • 198. Mr-G  |  October 31, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    All people have doubts. I had doubts. I lost my faith for a good number of years. But My God came to me in a vision and I now believe again. Its okay that yall dont believe no more or never have. I dont judge people. Like I said before, “You may not know God, but He knows you” And I only came to this site because of the Mormon topic. I live in Utah so im just trying to understand their beliefs as to why they believe and why they leave their faith. I dont mean no disrespect to any of you that dont believe.

  • 199. teniece  |  December 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I know you wrote this forever ago. And I doubt your feelings have changed. However you seem so angry with the LDS church. I’m not really sure why. Do you feel as though it wronged you? I know for a fact that they don’t teach that the others are wrong. Here’s history for you the Catholic church changed the bible. It’s in a highschool history book. The LDS church says other religions are less correct. Not wrong.
    I’ll be honest there was such hate in your words that I didn’t bother reading all the reasons you left. I just feel as though you’re angry for something and I’m not sure what.

    As for what I did read….I’m not sure why you feel guilty for not paying tithing. I was never taught that I would burn if I didn’t pay it. So… I’m sorry you feel that way. All the statements you made that I cared to read I felt like you (you as a person as yourself) would be able to find anything wrong with anything or anyone. It just seems your personality. As for “tearing families apart (due to callings).” They promote families. What is a family home evening for anyways? Oh right…..to spend time with family. What is the purpose of family prayer? To bring the family together. I didn’t grow up in a family where we’d pray then say SEE YA LATER and walk out…. but who knows maybe you did.

    Anyways…. I hope that you are spiritually sound and also that all this anamosity you have for the LDS church goes away so that it won’t poison you. I’m not saying any of this because I am LDS I am saying it because I know that even psych docs will tell people to let go of their anger, hate, guilt, and any other bad feelings. They will make you sick and I wouldn’t doubt it if it made your family sick. Child psych docs will say that too. Children feed off of their parents.

    The part that is saddest for me in this post is just that it seems less….informative and more attacking. (not to mention it lacks quotes from all these “studies”)

    PS on the indian people having no hebrew in them. remember the book of Ether? the brother of Jared? It doesn’t say much about them but they were there too. Also they ran into other people. You can’t honestly believe that the little family of Lehi and the family they brought with them populated ALL of the Americas can you? and no where does it even say that.

    I’m sorry if in this response I’ve offended anyone. It wasn’t meant to offend

    -thanks

  • 200. Carlos  |  December 16, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Here is something of interest. Please look up the country of Comoros. Now—look at the capital city of Comoros. It’s Moroni. It’s been called Moroni far before the book of Mormon was written.

    Now, think a minute—–where were the Golden plates found–and what was the name of the angel who directed Joseph Smith to them?

    The hill was called Cumorah–and angel Moroni. Comoros—Moroni. Just coincidence? I don’t think so—someone looking for names to support his story stumbled on the Comoros and Moroni and used them in his “book”.

  • 201. Al  |  December 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for all of Connie’s comments. They really helped me. It probably took a lot of courage to stand up for what you believe in… but I am very glad you did because I needed to hear that. Keep your faith strong and dont let any one tell you different. Thanks again!

  • 202. Edeb  |  January 11, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Hey.

    you have a lot of reason in why you are against the church. And hey…im a member too. im sure as hell not perfect, and i dont try to be perfect..i just do my own thing.

    What i think you need to understand is many things that can turn us away from the church are not the doings of Heavenly Father….but the members.
    You always get those few self righteous members who think they can judge you about the peircing youve got, the way your family is, how you dont keep standards.

    BUt its not upto them to judge you.
    Screw the members mate. Just as long as you know you have a relatioship with the big man upstairs..and you remember your testimony..you should be sweet.
    you can do whatever you like, dont let a few smart asses wreck the amazing acheivements youve accomplished.

    Sincerely,
    that 15yr old girl.

  • 203. Eden  |  January 11, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Hey.

    you have a lot of reason in why you are against the church. And hey…im a member too. im sure as hell not perfect, and i dont try to be perfect..i just do my own thing.

    What i think you need to understand is many things that can turn us away from the church are not the doings of Heavenly Father….but the members.
    You always get those few self righteous members who think they can judge you about the peircing youve got, the way your family is, how you dont keep standards.

    BUt its not upto them to judge you.
    Screw the members mate. Just as long as you know you have a relatioship with the big man upstairs..and you remember your testimony..you should be sweet.
    you can do whatever you like, dont let a few smart asses wreck the amazing acheivements youve accomplished.

    Sincerely,
    that 15yr old girl.

  • 204. Mariah  |  January 24, 2011 at 2:33 am

    I spent 18 years in the church. From birth to adulthood. These are a few of my issues and beliefs that God has put on my heart and that I have researched, prayed about, and confirmed by Gods word.

    1.The LDS church fixates more on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.. RATHER than teaching about Christ. The last year that I remained with the church I payed close attention to how many lessons and testimonies talked about Christ and how many talked about the BOM and Joseph Smith. There were very few lessons, comments, testimonies about Christ himself. The church is missing the POINT. They say… “JS is a true prophet, the BOM is true. The church is true.” So where is Christ in your teachings? In your testimonies? Surely not where I grew up.

    2. To Brian the missionary…. REGARDLESS of how many wives Joseph Smith had he still BROKE THE LAW. The articles of faith that HE wrote himself state that we are to obey the LAWS OF THE LAND which he clearly wasn’t doing. I don’t believe for a second that God would TEST him!!! GOD DOESN’T TEST US!!! Satan does!!! God has NO reason to test us. Satan steals, kills, and destroys. NOT God. So no, God didn’t tell JS to take more wives.

    I don’t believe that God would have put Emma through that pain. He wouldn’t have, because God loved Emma just as much as he loved JS. God is NO respecter of persons.. So God would not have told anyone, especially a prophet, to break the law of the land and go against his OWN teachings, if it were A. wrong and B. going to cause massive amounts of pain to God’s own daughter.

    And if you say “Oh, well God changes things.” NO he doesn’t. My God is an EVERLASTING God who doesn’t change for ANYBODY especially not a man. How can you rely on a God who changes his mind? You can’t. And if you say “Well you just need to have faith about something…” NO. I have enough common sense to say that that was WRONG.

    3. Had the pioneers traveled west for the right reasons and had NOT followed the polygamy JS said was okay to do… There wouldn’t have been as many deaths. In fact, there was NO NEED for ANY deaths at ALL. God protected the Hebrews and took them right through as sea. Had the children of God gone for the right reasons which would have been for CHRIST not the CHURCH and had they not gone against God’s commandments and followed through with polygamy, they would have had ABSOLUTE protection.

    And if you say “Well it was cold outside.. or the conditions or illnesses are natural, so some would have died.” NO. My God is an awesome God and he has a MILLION ways to do things. He would have protected them completely, had they followed God’s commandments.

    God wasn’t in the polygamy part AT ALL.

    3. JS may have been a “true prophet” but he DID lose his annointing with God. If he hadn’t lost his annointing by doing something against Gods wishes, then he WOULDN’T have died. Especially not the way that he did. JS steered away from God and lost his way.

    4.Christ said follow ME not follow a church. Every church is a PART of Christ’s body. Not ALL of it. So to claim that you are the true church, you are following man tradition. Man ways. Not God’s.

    5. We are all born with the same Holy Spirit inside of us. ALL OF US. Just because we are not baptized into the LDS church, doesn’t mean we aren’t baptized or a member of Christ’s church. When we are baptized, we are baptized in JESUS name. Not LDS’ name. HIS name. So ALL baptisims in Jesus name are valid. LDS believe that only their baptisms are valid.

    6. Jesus said that if there are any two persons that come together in HIS name, he will be there. And what is bound on EARTH is bound in HEAVEN. THIS means that if we are married and bound and sealed in JESUS name it is VALID in HIS eyes. We don’t need to go through the temple to achieve this.

    7. “Only WORTHY MEMBERS can take sacrement.” The sacrament is meant for everyone baptized in Jesus name. If I drink tea or coffee one day, it doesn’t mean that I can’t take the sacrament. Seriously? And just because you are not a member of the church, doesn’t mean you cannot participate in sacrament.

    b. Sacrament/communion that isn’t blessed by a preisthood holder is STILL valid.

    8. Women in the church are HELPLESS. They church teaches about preisthood and how “only men” can have it. Well, here’s the good news people. God and Christ extend the annointing to EVERYONE woman and man! JESUS LIVES INSIDE EVERYONE OF US that means that EVERYONE CAN BLESS, PREACH, HEAL, AND SAVE. And because Jesus is inside everyone of us, we have ALL the power that he had and still has today.

    I never had a real relationship with Christ or God until I stopped going to LDS church. My eyes have been opened and I have never been so blessed in my life. The church focuses too much on man based tradition, not on Christ.

  • 205. Alban Hurst  |  February 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I enjoy many Morman friends though I am not. They are terrific people. Maybe a distinction between a how to live guide with all its inspiration and help can be made apart from individual identity.

    When the two are intertwined the purpose for which faith exists is skewed in judgement, personal agenda and expectation. All three results bring a disappointed rationale. Faith is one on one in terms of sincerity without comparison, wishing well mentality or our glorious imagination.

    Until that day comes when each of us realizes that faith is a batttlefield dressing whose Grace fans the fire of hope in terms of preparation for the greatest gift to be shown and continually inspired in us again. With a book, a belief system and parroted affirmations we are subject to the foibles of any organized religion.

    If Christianity wants to point fingers look no farther than the pre Constantine era of the early catholic church. Constantine and the Nicene Conventions were but the cement upon the real deception…the theme and indeed the gift of revealing The Kingdom of God within individuals has absolutely no behavorial prequisite, no book, no affirmation and no tithing.

    To move criticism of any church forward is pointless given that we as individuals must reflect on what it is we each as individuals truly want with our relationship with God. We have been told by The Christ (thru Jesus) that the Kingdom of God is within us.

    So the question of the NOW (then and now) was/is not how, rather, who can show this gift? Jesus didn’t enlighten the flock with Old Testament manuscripts. He simply and literally showed them what has no beginning and no end restoring sight, sound and the feeling of the boundless forever to each.

    Only if in your strength or in your faith, you have enough trust in yourself to find that thirst in you that only the pristine water can quench. In the midst of all the madness we see around us as “God” is being bought and sold there is a seemingly new but very old message being presented and delivered without charge or church.

    You will not have to look very far if you are ready. If not don’t get too comfortable with patience. And for Godsake put away the sticks and stones of retribution toward scandal. As history has shown, arrogance is a detriment to both our relative peace and our access to the everlasting one.

    And you get to keep your sovereign identity without bureaucracy.

  • 206. LDSRevelations  |  March 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Interesting letter. Although I don’t agree with everything, many of these same points contributed to my own disaffection from Mormonism as well.

    Mike (comment 3) calls it an uninformed tirade but like nearly all LDS defenders fails to refute a single item. I used to do the same thing— be dismissive of arguments that I really had never looked into. The comments here pretty much illustrate my point.

    Here’s the deal: Mormonism is a lot of work for nothing IF it is not true or what it claims to be. Right? So you have to ask yourself— If it weren’t ‘true’, would I want to know? For me the answer was ‘yes.’ Once I allowed myself to consider it possibly wasn’t ‘true’ then things began to make a whole lot more sense.

    The internet is great place to learn REAL Mormon history. I learned more in 1 year with Google than I did in 30+ years of Sunday School/Priesthood lessons. Give it a try. If I’m wrong you’ll at least be more secure in your faith.

    Peace.

  • 207. private eye  |  March 6, 2011 at 2:42 am

    I tried to read all….very interesting…I agree with a lot of your facts…..something troubling to me is the shrinking of the Mormon family….if god is the same yesterday today and forever why do somethings that once seemed sacred and defined …..change….. and I’m seeing this from the top if you now what I mean….

  • [...] exposing fraud and crime of religion is easy – take the “33″ http://de-conversion.com/2008/08/03/33-reasons-why-i-left-the-mormon-church/ here (a numerology game backed by special effects, scams and fear mongering with a religious text [...]

  • 209. Mr G  |  March 21, 2011 at 11:04 am

    I beleive that most LDS people are good people. But what they beleive is a little far fetched. If God is all mighty and the perfect being, then why does the Mormon church continue to say that they are always having new revelations? Was God wrong the first time? How can God be wrong all the time?

  • 210. cag  |  March 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Mr G #209
    Are you the same person as Mr-G above?
    The answer to your question can be gleaned from the fact that all gods from antiquity to the present are a product of human thought. With 38000 or so interpretations of the “word of god”, the mormons are just another false interpretation of a book of fiction. As a fictional book, the bible does not have a true interpretation. Your god has all the power of any other imaginary character, absolutely none.
    Your definition of perfect is in direct opposition to human understanding – kill nearly everybody, create deadly germs and viruses. Your god is never wrong, never right, just imaginary.

    Most christians are good people but what they believe in the religious realm is absurd.

  • 211. White Knight  |  March 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I am so glad I visited this site. I was so confused about everything, then I read post #210. Now when someone asks me “Is there a God?” I can simply answer “no, because cag says so”. What a relief.

  • 212. cag  |  March 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    White Knight #211 – So glad that you have seen the light. In case the darkness falls upon you, remember that your parents didn’t deliberately lie to you, they just repeated the lies of their parents as they were lied to. All the way back to the point where god belief was instilled at the point of a sword. Convert or die may be compelling but it is not conducive to truth.

    Soon to celebrate 2000 years without evidence for any god.

  • 213. White Knight  |  March 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks once again for being the final authority. Your so confident in your unbelief I’ll bet you could get 10 other people to walk off a cliff with you. LOL

  • 214. BigHouse  |  March 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Cag’s brought a lot more to the table than you have, Knight Rider.

  • 215. White Knight  |  March 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    As Confucius say “Man may bring much to table, but one goes hungry if food is spoiled”.

  • 216. Alban Hurst  |  March 23, 2011 at 4:10 am

    FOR #18 DAVID V. Is it the church you want to be part of or the knowing you want that satisfies? Very important distinction. One makes environment the source of the prerequisite, the other makes Fulfillment the goal. The environment has a group of people who believe peace (dedicating to God’s plan) will come thru belief and works.

    The other relates to born alone die alone, therefore as an individual what is it that you truly want? There is no group wish when it comes to your soul and the quality of your life. The bigger picture has absolutely nothing to do with an organization, but rather what you came into life with and whether you enjoyed/prioritized the intimacy of that benefactor wthin who sustained that life in each breath. Did you accept and understand ‘the marriage’ of that possibility as one person and differentiate that from a collective body of believers?

    Deciphering that question is a quality of life issue that only you could grade yourself on, given the nature of your own appreciation…is it fresh, or parroted? What is the difference between group agendas and the goal of human life?

    You must answer this question not from the standpoint of good and bad, but from the perspective of what means more to you than anything else. In that framework you will find the answer that you seek. Otherwise you will just have an axe to grind.

    Or is it the group agreeing on how to live without knowing its source? Not negating ‘believing’ here, just common sensically knowing thru intimately knowing…is that a wish that you were told isn’t possible? We all have been…and we believed it…in error

    Never could put the cart before the horse. So it’s not wrong to want fellowship, but as an individual you must feel, think and surmise outside the box or else the box by its own limitation will amputate the perspective of the big picture. Especially in light of the intimacy being made available to all human beings and this is not evangelical!!!

  • 217. BigHouse  |  March 23, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Confucius also say “Don’t watse your time talking with trolls who bring even less than spoiiled food to the table.”

  • 218. Ubi Dubium  |  March 23, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Alban,
    That’s a lot of words, but how is any of that relevant to whether what someone believes is actually true? You talked a lot about what an individual “wants” but just wanting something to exist does not make it actually exist. Even if you wish really really hard.

    Because if that worked, I’d have a flying car and a holodeck by now.

  • 219. White Knight  |  March 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Confucius say “Man who waste time explaining how not to waste time is most likely wasted”.

  • 220. Terri Wagner  |  March 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    I find that much of your dissatisfaction and much of your criticism is warranted. As we say in the church (I’m a convert and a woman btw), the doctrine may be perfect but the men and women who weild it not always so. In my 30 odd years I too have seen some things changed and some things seeminly denied. I have always sensed that Utah Mormons seem not to get the concept of living with other faiths, other cultural traditions and get hung up on stuff not really all that important. I also agree that much of the talks and articles written I find I agree with. BUT the difference is I’ve seen lots of disscension and change in the people. Change for the good. I also believe the church’s emphasis on the family is being tested to its fullest with members leaving and children adopting alternative lifestyles. It’s a tough call. I’m sorry your family rejected your decision. I will say I hope one day you can merge your secular feelings with your spiritual ones and find that the church or rather HF is perfect and one day when Christ returns we will get it right. I suspect there will a lot of “what you’re kidding me that’s what that meant,” then. I think I can pretty much guarantee that. I’m smiling now.

  • 221. Alban  |  March 24, 2011 at 3:18 am

    Ubi: Some wishes we can control, others are dependent on the availability of technology and or the profit motives of capital investment. The wish I am referencing is nearly completely addressed by Terry Wagner in her closing remarks.

    Human beings need the inspiration and a particular cleansing/guidance from someone who is so endowed. Jesus was one such person. His message to people while alive did not center around the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. Rather his message had to with him inspiring the sincere want to know the kingdom of God within each one living/breathing at that time who chose to want to know the source of their life. Not thru reading, not thru fellowship or the manifestation of new inventions.

    Kind of like the root desire if we were brought up in Living 101 class where the appreciation for life itself is not intertwined in belief but is the actual perception of that life within.The class that is presented to us is more like Survival 101 where the emphasis is on how we live from that reward perspective contentment is not inherent. It is earned.

    Jesus made it known that this contentment, this joy, this heaven or this kingdom of God although inherently a possibility had its access thru him while he lived. Christianity thru the efforts of the early catholic church made his offering of this possibility only available thru Jesus the person where The Christ indwelt (the final 3 1/2 – 4 yrs of his life) FOREVER!!!

    What if someone were here today offering the same possibility whose name is not Jesus, doesn’t look like Jesus and will not be crucified like Jesus…have we as a race of people done ourselves a disservice by allowing all of our religions to promote an ‘ours only’ agenda in light of NOT having the same ability to literally show the kingdom of God to individuals who want to know?

    Yes we have, but in our defense we had no means of real comparison. The catholic church chose to be the gatekeepers mudering millions of people and destroying thousands of eyewitness testimony which if discovered now would blow the lid off this mystery of faith deal we all live under. Mercifully portions of those testimonies have been found in the discovery of the dead sea scrolls and the dig at nag hammadi.

    BBBut even armed with that info the bigger concern is what is it that I as an individual really wants, really thirsts for? That cannot be delivered/shown to me as a belief. It can only come from another living human being. And it can only happen if you really want it not from the perspective of survival but rather from your deepest part where the soul and the life here that sustains are actually together..It does take a very special individual to draw back the curtain so we can see, partake and dance in that glory.

    Is it possibly happening now? For those who are really wanting that kind of contentment, knowing themselves, feeling that unique indescribable appreciation with visible, audible and tangible components we we indoctrinated into thinking were not so, yes. For those testing the waters, prove it to me mindset or just curious, no. It would serve some better to just dream about a flying car or a holodek.

    I think Terry in her reponse got a little wiff of the fragrance.

  • 222. cag  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Alban, #221
    That was one of the worst cases of word salad ever posted on the internet. What I get out of it can be summarised as:

    I believe because my parents would not lie to me, except for that Santa thing, but they would never lie to me, except for that tooth fairy thing, but they would never lie to me, except for that Easter Bunny thing, but they would never lie to me, except for that god thing.

    Unconvincing. By the way, which of the thousands of gods that the human mind has conceived of are you referring to?

  • 223. Ubi Dubium  |  March 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    Alban,

    Whatever it was you “got a whiff of” I think I’ll pass and keep my head clear. In addition to what cag mentioned, what I get from your flurry of words is that I should believe in things because they are comforting, or fill some yearning you imagine I have. Never mind if they are fairy tales, just believe because humans “need to believe”.

    Sorry, I outgrew Santa, and I outgrew your Santa for grownups god too. No matter how many frilly turns of phrase you use, no matter how you dress it up, it’s still fiction.

  • 224. Alban  |  March 24, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    I gotta run out of here for a minute but I wanted to preface how I will respond by first apologiziing to Ubi. I normally look deeper as to the why in my responses when I talk about this and at the end of my response it got a little shallow. From the beginning I should have understood the frustration and not taken that swipe at the end.

    Both of you, Cag and Ubi are no different than me. I was as skeptical as anyone that the greatest wish/desire is possible to have. In all my idealism I have been corrected many times along the way and it did not have to come from my piers. I have never been a fan of judgement because most forget it is a two way street. I just felt from a young age there was more to this place than what I was being told. I knew it so deep and yet like all of us whether we ever had the same inklings or not, we had to conform…because that is the way of the world…I’ll write more in a little while.

  • 225. cag  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Alban #224
    The reason there is more than what you’ve been told is that much of what you’ve been told is lies. There is much to learn and it starts without any appeals to superstition.

    We are different than you. We do not accept bullshit as a suitable substitute for reality. We are not swayed by popularity. We do not accept unquestioningly. We demand that what we accept makes sense. We do not support charlatans. We see religion as a form of ponzi scheme, the godzi scheme where all the victims participants pay up but only the insiders collect. We are not swayed by flowery phrases or threats of damnation. We are not hypnotised by group chanting. We do not pray to either the floor or the ceiling. We do not subscribe to a book that allows us to have slaves

    Matthew 5:17-18 (New King James Version)

    17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

    or stone people to death.

    I am fortunate that my life is not directed by the most vile, disgusting, misoginistic, homicidal, abominable book of fiction ever thought up by humans. Oops, that’s a tie with the Koran.

    No, we are different than you. We have morals, not commandments. We seek truth, not salvation from bogeymen.

    You are a follower. Just having followers is not an indicator of the truth of teachings. The difference between jesus and Jim Jones is that Jim Jones had over 900 people commit suicide at his behest. Those that kill in the name of jesus are acting on their own, not because jesus commanded it but followers of jesus commanded it.. Does that make Jim Jones more powerful than jesus? Just because people follow a personality, either real or imaginary, does not make that character a beacon of truth.

  • 226. Ubi Dubium  |  March 25, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Alban,

    There IS more to this place than you are being told. But the answers do not lie in ancient books or the exhortations of preachers to believe in their invisible magic friends. The universe holds many wonders. We as humans have the capability to understand them, through rational inquiry and science. You know, we have solved many mysteries of how the universe works, and for each one we have solved the answer has never turned out to be “a magic man in the sky did it”.

    There’s lots of things I’d like to believe are true. Some of those things would be very comforting to believe in. But I don’t believe in them unless I have real evidence. Wishing does not make imaginary things real (no matter what Walt Disney films may say to the contrary).

  • 227. White Knight  |  March 25, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    #225 There are also many lies we can tell ourselves until we are convinced we are correct.

  • 228. cag  |  March 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    White Knight #227
    Exactly how religion works. The preachers lie and the flock responds by convincing themselves that the lies are true.

    How many gods have to be rejected before humans wake up and realise that all gods are imaginary, not just 99.95%.

  • 229. Alban  |  March 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I am not referring to any religion or religious organization. What I am referring to is self knowledge, ”knowing thyself” as Socrates termed it.There have been many who have shown or revealed this knowing (usually one at a time) as the knowing is already self contained. It has always been given free of charge. There are snippets of its joy, wisdom and gratitude that are found in the scriptures, but reading and believing are not the vehichles for this actual perception and its understanding.

    Knowing yourself is not about being a better person, has nothing to do with right and wrong,is not about mantras, self flagellation, white clothes, veganism, chanting or austerity. It is about perceiving ie; seeing hearing feeling and tasting and thus knowing what we have been told is unknowable. The motivation to want this is not for the sake of spiritual gymnastics, one- upsmanship or a one time mind blowout.

    Having this perception and the perspective it provides simply stated, is for contentment. Simple, unconditional enjoyment, there for the savoring.

    We as adults pride ourselves on our ability to reason. We love implications, speculation and assumptions. We however still maintain buried deep beneath our reason, survival mode and our life’s experience a pure (unadulterated) sense of wonder that can immerse itself in undescribable beauty.

    Those who have been fortunate enough to have been shown this knowledge within and who continue in that perception everyday enjoy a perpetual “communion”, unconditional sustinence.

    Some people believe life itself is the silent partner of the soul. I would suggest that there is nothing silent about it! You just got to wanna go there. Then and only then will the pieces of the puzzle come together.Casting seed upon the rocks seldom produces any yield.

    So as I mentioned there are snippets in the scriptures.Things like living teacher, kingdom of heaven within you, free of charge, heart of a child, loud silence…

    Yikes!….Skepticism is healthy at times. This is not such a time… in this arena. And not because there could be a circus in town. It is because it IS your time now!!

    For the unrelenting skeptic…no this is not from imagination. It is from a former clear thinking skeptic 40 years removed…a happy camper amidst the rollercoaster ride of relativity..

  • 230. Ubi Dubium  |  March 28, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Skepticism is healthy at times. This is not such a time… in this arena.

    Alban, have you noticed where you are commenting? Did you look at this website? This is exactly the time and the arena. You jumped right into the skeptic’s den!

    It is from a former clear thinking skeptic…

    That explains rather a lot. I hope I never have cause to refer to myself as a “former clear thinker”.

    You talked floridly and at length about “knowing yourself”. Knowing yourself is a laudable goal, but what does that have to do with belief in invisible supernatural beings? Knowing yourself still does not make the existence of the “supernatural” any less of a fairy tale.

  • 231. Alban  |  March 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    When you are skeptical you are sure that are thinking clearly. Thinking obviously is essential to living. Knowing however is in a different category when it precedes thinking. “I think the postman is coming” is quite different than seeing or hearing the postman working where you could then say I know the postman is here.

    So perceiving what is tangible to the inner sense (non metaphysical) yields a perspective that differentiates and finds some things in common with primary knowing and second hand knowing. I can believe in supernatural beings but if I have never seen one my thinking is skewed to what a court of law might call ‘hearsay’…”someone else told me”

    Put this on a grand scale and you have millions of believers who BELIEVE essentially that the existence of God is proven by The Resurrection and the acceptence of that redemption. 12 people however who were shown “The Kingdom of God” within themselves, get downplayed in this regard. Other miracles although impactful were a little iffy when it came to being intimate with Life Itself. Bringing the dead back to life and resurrecting may in hindsight, may have taken the eye off the prize.

    The church and eventually the roman empire came around to understanding how important the clear thinking of belief was to knowing as it would impact positively on proper social behavior, loyalty to “god” and country and of course the collection of taxes.

    The misdirection then of the real message and its real possibility created within the world of belief, a sometimes convincing ‘knowing’ thru this hand me down belief is not the same knowing as intimacy.

    The fascination with the supernatural is like kids sitting around a campfire spooking each other with ghost stories. This fascination is enhanced by the protection faith offers to deter the fear and or terror of ‘the unknown’.The supernatural is awhole other conversation when it comes to visions. If I am not having the vision I’d be a little shakey on believing someone else’s.

    We are each sovereign with the inner apparatus to have “daily bread”.

  • 232. White Knight  |  March 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    #228 cag—please remember that’s your opinion. Because you say it doesn’t make it a fact.

  • 233. Ubi Dubium  |  March 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Alban,

    Again that’s a lot of flowery words. I’m really not getting what your point is through all that.

  • 234. BigHouse  |  March 28, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Ubi, you know what they say they the definition is insanity is? I’d think about it before trying to squeeze something other than poetry out of Alban. :-)

  • 235. Alban  |  March 29, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Ubi 233 Most people cannot tie the value of life itself into their thinking. We can all point out certain benefits and obvious detriments. Do we ever consider the miracle that life brings us in every breath? If thinking doesn’t grock the value of human life then what about us can?

    If the breath does not move in us all consideration is pointless.By being alive just by that very fact, we have the ability, FIRST to know, perceive, be intimate with life, really really love it with a gratitude that truly is unimagineable and not with a ‘because of ‘mentality.

    As kids we are led away from that (unconditional) ‘fairy tale’. Yet that fairy tale is really really big and vital you might say to our actual breathing. The nature of human beings apart from this particular fairytale is weak and ignorant and filled (eventually ) with the impurities of our world. But our nature is Not the source of our life.

    One is completely temporary and is subject to the probable attraction of everything external This is not good or bad. It is just the condition of our environment. If you live at 14000ft, running marathons may not interest you. Snowboarding may not appeal to most hawaiians. Good food and sex may traverse environmental limitations. Point is: as much as we are drawn to our outer senses which also include analysis- reasoning, and annoying sometimes internal chatter, we don’t make much time for our inner recognition…our inner being. Probably because there seems to be no outer benefit, no real excitement.

    I had always thought if you wanna do that head up to the himilayas, but that’s not necessary even with the prompts we all get from time to time that something isn’t being fulfilled. Something externally gets bored and we immediately respond. Something that prompts from our core gets overlooked.The sad part is we get very good at burying that prompt even though some tell us we will be judged for that oversight (not true)

    When that prompting is addressed it is simply that, dressed, packaged and essentially ‘sold’ to us. There are people like you and Cag and White Knight who see through the charade. Not everyone does and there cannot be condemnation or even pity for those who find solace in conventional religious thinking with or without an invisible supernatural being.

    What drives you to want out so to speak is what hopefully will drive you back in, TO a treasure that you are physically and for the period of your existence, together with (don’t think ‘spiritual’ is accurate) To gain the full enjoyment or fulfillment in life, that togetherness must have union. To just recognize it or worship it happens at a distance. And there can be no distance in this dance!! The intimacy brings forth a joy and a glory unique in its simplicity and seemingly grows with acceptence. We are the ones who actually accept more into that joy and glory rather than growing into it( in reverse to our thinking)

    Look at it like a space traveler. You are the traveler. You get this spacesuit. in the environment where you will be living. Life makes both the environment and the spacesuit functional. You are co inhabitants in the same suit, but life really is all around you as well as inside you. So you can either use the life until the spacesuit doesn’t work anymore or you can embrace that life in your acceptence and appreciation by wanting it and paying literal (would seem easier to our minds in a spacesuit?) attention to it.When the spacesuit doesn’t work anymore there is not the separation of the three components. There is only the one, the spacesuit that stays (in the environment) The life and the traveler are one so to speak…so embraced in life, free to enjoy existence inside and out together within the limitations of that environment. The same after the spacesuit with the environment changed, no longer even seeing a “doorway within”. Free in space and time in life. Free afterward. Free and fulfilled.

    There are not alot of short answers here I realize, but would you say that spaceman understood the value of his life while in his spacesuit? Did he value it in hope for a good afterlife or so he could right there begin to enjoy life in earnest no matter the situational challenges?

    Joy is most valuable it seems in the now. The kind that once you taste it you sense its capacity is limitless even though we can’t conceive what that means. Go figure. Valuable it is, priceless maybe more accurate

  • 236. Ubi Dubium  |  March 29, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Still having a hard time following what your point is. A few things I managed to pull out:
    “Joy is most valuable it seems in the now.”
    Agreed. We have no evidence of an afterlife, so we should live the one life we know we do have to the fullest.

    “If thinking doesn’t grock the value of human life then what about us can?”
    Um…thinking can. (Spelling please on “grok”.) Why would you assume that “Thinking doesn’t grok the value of human life”? Does not follow.

    Otherwise, you seem to be suggesting that I plunge back into fantasy and superstition because it will enrich my “inner life”. My inner life is just fine, thank you. There is plenty of stuff in the real world to enrich my “inner life”. Fantasy is great as entertainment, not as a philosophical system. (And I really can’t follow your metaphor about the spacesuit.)

    One of my personal mottos is “Open your mind, but not so far your brain falls out”.

  • 237. Alban  |  March 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Ubi Snippets…like the old Bhuddist expression, I am not my body. I am not my mind, come to mind. Each one has the potential both in actual perception and in resulting understanding to know what that “mysterious” identity is, who I am beneath the superficials, beneath acquired thought and ‘WHERE’ in life is it that I actually reside?

    Until that essential question is answered and actualized, the closest anyone ever gets is speculation. To me speculators are either in religious or philosophical modes including all the peripheral views speculating within their thinking, which at best can be called “relative”.

    Investing on the other hand requires hands on acceptence of that commodity.Utilizing that acceptence is first, last and always enjoying that…that is the ‘primordial state’. Appreciation beyond the capacity of the imagination is very practical, actually fulfilling for any individual no matter where or what that “spacesuit” is going about his or her doing.

    And some things you may find yourself NOT doing as common sense takes on awhole new meaning without an organization, piers or an invisible supernatural being looking over your shoulder or judging you..

    I like the spacesuit analogy because it allows us to imagine we are enlightened when there is a removable cover around us. As though one could understand the dynamics parallel to our state in life…except you know in that analogous perspective you control the time you take off that spacesuit. In the physical world, time is the real mystery. You don’t know when the ‘spacesuit’ will expire. That incents living to the fullest each and everyday if not as many moments as possible in those days.

    In the analogy of course you know who lives in that spacesuit. And likewise in the flesh there IS the same opportunity although shrouded in mutual hand me down ‘agreements’ of confusion of those who like to control and those who accept that control including those who think they belong to neither group.

    So the actual quest has to be felt from neither emotion or thought. The quest to know begins in the heart of hearts and that yearning is unique as well, similar to a hunger or a thirst. When it drives you to want that satisfaction or quenching, there is a standard which we again have as a ‘built-in’ component which in reality, is NOT the perspective of reasoning or deduction, but an unconditional discernment (w)hol(l)y different than generally accepted in religious circles.

    The desire for fulfillment at that juncture becomes paramount and nothing but fulfillment will satisfy that heart. Maybe that is extreme. For others the pursuit is a tad more mellow..Some outward personalities are intense, others are laid back, but fulfillment fulfills all spectrums of personality – it doesn’t change them.

    In the spacesuit analogy there was mention of a doorway. And that is significant to each who could be interested. Did that make sense?

  • 238. Ubi Dubium  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    In the spacesuit analogy there was mention of a doorway. And that is significant to each who could be interested. Did that make sense?

    No, not so far.

    Snippets…like the old Bhuddist expression, I am not my body. I am not my mind, come to mind.

    Well, I AM my mind. My self-awareness is an emergent property of having a sufficiently complex brain. I have never seen any reliable evidence that there is any sort of “self” or “soul” existing apart from the brain. And there is plenty of evidence that damage to the brain result in damage to the “self” that lives in it. No amount of exhortations about “feelings” and “yearnings” will change that.

    You sound a lot like the “new-agey” type writers like Deepak Chopra, who also does not say anything that I can make sense of. Lots of words like “actualized” and “quenching” that sound deep, but are really vague and not conveying any real meaning.

    I prefer concrete specific words. Like this:

    I do not think any supernatural beings have been shown to exist. I think that, given the amount of time and effort spent on trying to “prove” their existence, and the complete lack of success so far, supernatural beings very probably don’t exist. Wishful thinking does not change reality. Believing that “we need this to be true” or “humans have a yearning” or “it ought to be this way” also does not change reality. Colorful metaphors do not change reality.

    Can you try making your point briefly, without metaphors or fuzzy new-age buzzwords?

  • 239. Alban  |  March 30, 2011 at 5:24 am

    Ubi #238 Thanks Ubi. The feedback helps me to attempt simpler and clearer communication…maybe not shorter yet.

    My Father used to say that “perception is everything”. I agree but add the ‘where’ you are perceiving from, affects that perception.

    Looking at an apple on a table while bent down on one knee with one eye closed, with a huge mountain range in the distance, makes the apple appear larger that those mountains. When I can stand on top of that mountain range, it puts the misperception of the apple’s proportion into reality.

    This dialogue began with an exit from the Mormon Church. It’s not the apple. Rather it is the view of the apple or this case the church which is way out of proportion. Knowing that the vantage point can be changed puts the apple in a different and more proportionate perspective. The devout of most religions feel the church has special access to divine perspective. But what perspective does that emanate from,an apple’s or a mountain’s?

    If no one notices the advantage of seeing the accurate proportion of losing faith in one’s own church as compared to what really may be of greater frustration to this now ex-Mormon; his EXPECTATIONS of the churches’ prophets; then there is no accurate perspective present. Justifiable speculation, fingerpointing and letdown.In his own rationalization the church failed him. Yet in the end he has at least temporarily failed himself.

    I suggest he began his association in the church looking for the divine or searching for a greater meaning in life which of course “has to be known” by the divinely gifted. In this case these LDS prophets.

    Many great teachers have taught that the location and the determinate of the Divine are within each of us. That proportion seems small. Afterall our physical stature and the (unrealized arrogance)power of our evolved thinking makes us much more sigificant than what seemingly insignificant invisible force sustains our life.

    That perspective is ass backwards. That perspective is our apple from the example. Some gems I have and maybe you have heard about…one acorn has an entire forest within it; one drop of the ocean has an ocean inside it; fish actually get thirsty. A couple of thousand years ago someone kept pointing out that The Kingdom of God is within (you)….Is that any different today?…was that an indication of supernatural Beings or one supernatural Being or remotely anything to do with the supernatural?

    No. Our perspective however makes the obvious, oblivious. It turns big into small, seemingly makes a created God or gods choose sides for human decisions, football games and even wars to name a few of our misperceptions. We never learn from our history and when offered the precious treasure of priceless self contained contentment we instead blame religion for alluding to it, blaming everyone else except ourselves for even thinking it’s possble. As though we resent the notion. But what if as these teachers like Lao Tzu, Bhudda, Jesus and even Mohammed proclaimed it is possible, what stands in our way, perception in our inproportionate perspective or time or both?

    Hindsight always laments, “if only we had the eyes to see”. For most of us it is not until the last breath that we realize we did. Our thinking, general ignorance/arrogance or our imaginary favor with any god, never gave us the perspective to be able to perceive The Gift of life. We just used it in self assigned lack of, relative or great glory until it ran out.

    Wonder if there is a correlation…bad angle perspective, unclear perception, misplaced expectations and the unreqited love for our sustaining force?

  • 240. Ubi Dubium  |  March 30, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Getting a little better, but you launched right off with another metaphor.

    I think one of your underlying themes matches another part of my personal motto: “We do not see things they way they are, we see things the way WE are.”

    It looks to me like part of the way that you are is that you assume there are people with some sort of special divine insight. You assume that the things that people who claim “divine insight” say are extra meaningful. And you assume the LDS prophets were among these people.

    I would urge you to question those assumptions.

    (The fact that you mention the LDS prophets at all would lead me to assume you were raised Mormon. This will color all your perceptions until you can take a step back and see that your “prophets” weren’t really all that special. Almost every religion claims to have “prophets”, but none of them have the same message for us. They can’t all be right. They can, however, all be wrong.)

  • 241. Alban  |  April 1, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I was raised as a Presbyterian. “Expectations” on the part of the de-convert are why I brought up the LDS prophets as the inability of those prophets to measure up to what in this case are subjective criteria, which were not met. An attempt to discover the meaning of life draws canned response from every faith. For those who really want to know that meaning those responses do not satisfy the underlying need to feel fulfillment.

    The nature of true fulfillment is not int he answer persay, it is in the delivery of such. Some are satisfied to a degree by rhetoric, but the real seekers need fulfillment itself to be satisfied.

    Expectations are far exceeded when fulfillment itself is revealed tangibly. When it is answered thru an explanation, it is merely theory. For most who “care” that is sufficient. For those who really want to be fulfilled explanations never hit the mark.

    Like I said previously, water for a thirsty person in the desert means everything. An explanation does not quench the thirst for those who are truly thirsty. Think about it. That is who we are. That is the way things are without the coloring of what we think we are.

  • 242. Ubi Dubium  |  April 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I was also raised Presbyterian, but left that behind many years ago.

    “The meaning of life” is not something to be handed to you, it is not something you have to go find. If you spend your life expecting some religion or guru to hand you “fulfillment” you will never find it, no matter how much searching you do. The meaning of life is something you make for yourself. The answer to finding “fulfillment” is to quit trying to ask invisible magic forces for your answers, then decide what is important to you, and get up off your knees and go do something about it.

  • 243. Alban  |  April 1, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    My take on the search for meaning is simple. We come complete. Fulfillment is not handed to us, and it is not invisible. We do not need to search for it, but we have to admit to ourselves, not concede, that we do want to feel it and know it. Then and only then can the curtain of confusion, ignorance, arrogance- whatever term you wanna call it be opened to that union. This is not surgical nor an initiation, nor a belief structure. Nor does it have much to do with worldly objectives.

    It only has to do with a simple contentment that is in essence, humongus. The carrot” so to speak that sustains, enriches and fulfills every single moment, literally in each breath (not that many of us can be there in every breath, but is available for ‘consumption’ 24/7) Like the joy of completion…every other carrot that I know of, pales, so much so there is NO comparison.

    All this available in the midst of the madness. Believe it or not. And yes there is that dreaded humility in dealing with a human teacher as fun as it is. It is less confronting to deal with an invisible source of inspiration, but that is our nature and our heritage.

    Again I mention each of us underneath has a part, the part that sustains physical life that allows us to discern the difference between our nature and what/who it is that we truly are…what we have been endowed with…a treasure beyond imagination. With that as a sword to tackle circumstances, there is a joy, a success that is way beyond day to day accomplishment.

    Without the ability to differentiate our nature and what our essence is comprised of (not analytically, but tangibly!!) there is no way to know what I am referring to. Bottom line someone who may be interested has to be able to get a little deeper, be able to connect however minimally to the part of them that lay underneath our well conditioned outer senses.

    And again I am not speaking mystically. Looking at a beautiful sunset for instance there is that one moment that is inexplicabe before the analysis enters, that captures the beauty for however long. That is the sense that is “interested” in knowing the esssence of Life itself. So much of an interest that it has been called “the purpose of life”. Provocative, isn’t it ?

  • 244. Ubi Dubium  |  April 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    No, not provocative for me at all. An emotional response to something beautiful is not the meaning of life, no matter how many flowery words you throw at it. And it’s not “inexplicable”.

    I’m still hearing a lot of new-age word salad, but not getting any real meaning out of any of this. Was there a point you are trying to make? And can you make it in just a sentence or two?

  • 245. Alban  |  April 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    I was referring to the pure (non emotional) feeling of awe and/or wonder. When that moment is held however fleeting, explanation is n/a. There is a way to turn that feeling, that perception inward (not belief or mantra oriented) which CAN answer, put into perspective and fulfill yourself no matter the external landscape.

  • 246. Ubi Dubium  |  April 3, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Much better. Your point is coming through much more clearly.

    I don’t see how you can characterize feelings of awe and wonder as “non emotional”, though. Of course they are emotional. And that can be a very good thing. I have those feeling all the time, when I look up at the sky and contemplate the vastness of the universe, when I hold a fossil and contemplate the vastness of time, when I participate in a musical performance or look at a great work of art or architecture and contemplate the immense creativity of the human mind. And most especially when I hug my daughters and think of what a wonderful thing biological life on earth is, and what a privilege it is to be able to participate in it.

    But none of that requires any belief in supernatural forces, or “souls” or inner “essences” or anything beyond simple emotion and reason.

  • 247. Alban  |  April 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    We are conditioned to to weigh, calculate and label these functions. The impetus is “raw” to analytical thinking. Yet without that prompting, which is pure feeling/awareness the observation would have no foundation, no life/animation in it. Like a socket plugged into there is an amazing self effulgent energy that we THEN translate into categories.

    Plugging in does not electrocute because the source will not overamp. It will give only as much as can be accepted. Protection is built in no matter the description/exaggeration of the subsequent individual expression.

    Yes, It is often EXPRESSED emotionally, but it is after the fact of acceptence. Art and music touch a synchronisity (sp?)which skids on the fringe of the source and that is why as groupings, artists tend to be ‘closer’ to accurate expression of separation and the hope for union with the source. But that synchronisity is more parallel to the souce than in union with it .

    When in union that expression comes as close to “nailing it” as is humanly possible. There are no pens,brushes or chords written, brushed or struck in reality, but there is expression that is louder than Earth’s loudest song which, is observable/enjoyable and in return, beautiful in its appreciation… and quite unique…not like a hymn.

    At that point emotion has entered the picture. The indescribably enjoyable experience of while its happening and being in tune, is similar to synchronisity but ‘otherworldly’ (that term is way insufficient) is a meager struggle to grope for a parallel term.

    True belief then would come after the fact of direct perception of the source. It has always been an axiom of ‘see then believe’ vs ‘believe, then you don’t have to see’…Thanks Nicene convention(s).

  • 248. Ubi Dubium  |  April 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    You are back to the word salad again. Keep it shorter and direct, or your point gets lost. When talking to a skeptic, you do not get extra credit for sounding “deep”.

    You seem to be asserting that there is some kind of “source” that cannnot be directly verified, but yet humans are able to perceive directly in some way. That’s what I would characterize as an “extraordinary claim”, and I will not accept such a claim without “extraordinary evidence”. Which you have not as yet provided.

  • 249. Alban  |  April 5, 2011 at 5:11 am

    I recognize the backslide-sorry. Direct experience is hard to make appear firsthand when another is not there, like a good situational story, “if only you’d been there”…sooo yes, extraordinary but not a claim ! You may wanna check out mspeaks.com hunting the links including WOPG.org until you get to a short video…There’s one that is 27 mins…

    So remember the term ‘fair chance’. It works both ways. “Fruit” is not universal agreement…it is discernment of being satisfied on the part of each individual if the desire is genuine. The acquisition of the fruit and its consumption follows in kind.

    What drew my attention to skeptics is that they are interested more than not and occasionally there amongst them is one or two who are not cemented to staunch defiance when an unique opportunity, for investigation and possible revelation, is afforded them. This can prompt a sovereign subjective assessment, not subject to universal agreement but truly one of individual examination purely prompted.

    Someone once said you can tell a good tree by its fruit…and that had alot more to do with being aware of contentment and the gratitude which naturally follows, rather than a panel of theoretical experts looking for proper crededentials or justification for a widely self serving perspective that defines fruit rather than enjoying it.

  • 250. Ubi Dubium  |  April 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Sorry, not following. Fruit??? I have no idea what you are meaning by this. You are more understandable without the metaphors.

  • 251. cag  |  April 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Ubi, it doesn’t matter if Alban uses metaphor or not. None of it is understandable.

  • 252. Ubi Dubium  |  April 5, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Cag, when Alban tried to boil down a post to a couple of sentences (see example at # 245 above) his point got quite a bit clearer. Not that I agreed with it in any way, but it was much closer to something that could be discussed. I always hope that in coaching someone to communicate more clearly, we can also help them to think more clearly. Otherwise I wouldn’t be bothering.

    Alban, try again, without the metaphors. Keep it simple.

  • 253. Alban  |  April 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Its hard not to use metaphor or analogy when it comes to describing something imagination cannot conceive. We each are capable of perceiving that but not conceiving…Has a riddle like quality( What can you perceive that you cannot conceive ?) and to a skeptic or otherwise, may seem to be backwards or in reverse.

    In simple terms (I hope) individuals are able to turn each of the senses to the inside ie; seeing, hearing, feeling and tasting/smelling and not for biological purpose!! There is something else residing within that is able to be connected to in this way. This connection when expertly uncovered, allows an individual to have union with the life force.

    The description of that union is a ‘simple peace’. The perception of peace thus connects individual awareness to peace, independant of thought. Life and awareness must be present.( “Awareness” exists independant of brain activity as proven by research on coma patients who recovered.)

    The description then of that peace is where historically metaphor, analogy and parables are utilized for the benefit of those who have not been shown or connected. Even in the attempt to understand the connection thru those descriptions the power of that peace begins to peel the layers of our blockage from the inside out and can be felt to a degree.

    The key to understanding this for anyone who has a slight interest is to notice the difference between the longing for peace or fulfillment and when an actual presence of that seems to appear within. Its vague because it seems small to our thinking. That perception however is where discernment becomes real as a humble desire for fulfillment begins to grow simultaneously.

    This is not an “add-on” to our thinking. Rather it is the essence of our life peeking thru. Do not underestimate the apparent subtlety…that changes as acceptance grows.

    This is not about ‘should’, have to or judgement like we have encountered in religion. This is purely an option in life, but one that I feel is the most fundamental, like having unlimited treasure within and being able to appreciate it for itself, while utilizing it.

    And it does carry over into the quality of life. Simple description of that: joyful, peaceful, contented, happy and fulfilled. Truly!

    Check out the website I mentioned previously. It is more succinct and more clear than me rambling on. I do appreciate this dialogue. Your comments and suggestions have brought forth tighter requirements for me in any future expression.

    With some of my very good friends who are evangelical…you can imagine some of those conversations…I have put forth the question: In what order or what sequence would common sense suggest we live our lives? Knowing how to live or knowing life itself? Which one provides a more accurate perspective for the other?

  • 254. Ubi Dubium  |  April 7, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I’m losing your point again. You do better when you keep it short. You dropped the metaphors, which helps, but you are still kind of rambling around the point you are trying to make.

    You seem to be claiming that there is an immaterial force which you can contact with your brain, and doing so will bring happiness and fulfillment. Is this your point?

  • 255. Alban  |  April 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I cannot pretend to be a scientist. However there are medical studies showing significant evidence of coma patients who’ve awoke having cognitive memory of visitors, conversations and complete time disorientation, which shows (I think) that awareness exists independant of brainwave function and sequential time. My point is that THIS awareness is able in a conscious state (non coma) to perceive a presence which is independant of the human condition yet is the power source of all life, NOT a supernatural being.

    I also think scientists have debated ‘metaphysical prejudice’ where it comes to emergent time vs. sequential time, so there is that element again of the mystical, which is essentially to me, undefinable, yet physically accessible. So yes to your question.

    That contention has always sparked debate and denial, but for those who directly access the undefinable there is an obvious recognition. Not triggered by a belief, but by the desire of the undefinable to feel itself. Animate the individual awareness with that component and voila, you have the possiblity of fulfillment amidst all the other potential and limitations of existence.

    At that point of interest or recognition, the conscious union of the 2 componets becomes a hot topic.

  • 256. Ubi Dubium  |  April 8, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I don’t think your example of coma patients is useful. Coma patients do not have zero brain function. (We have a different word for patients who have zero brain function. We call them “dead”). Coma patients are not all the same, and for those who do emerge from it, it’s often a long slow process. I don’t find it at all surprising that someone might be able to process and store memories of sensory information long before they have regained enough functioning that we would consider them “awake”.

    Really, brain functioning does seem to be at the heart of what I think you are trying to say. Our brains have all kinds of subsystems for telling the difference between familiar and unknown, truth and fiction, and especially in this case, self and non-self. and our “brain software” is buggy. It’s possible for these systems to be permanently disabled through injury (as, for instance, in Oliver Sacks wonderful book The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat) or a disease like schizophrenia. It’s also possible for them to be temporarily impaired by seizures, chemicals, or self-induced hypnotic brain states.

    So, you think your brain has had contact with something that isn’t coming from your brain. How can you tell the difference between that and your brain getting the “distinguishing self from other” circuits scrambled up for awhile? And – how would I be able to tell that you had contact with “something” rather than simply having a brain glitch?

  • 257. TOOTI  |  April 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    i strongly support what was the opposition have said as I am really one of them……and also Joseph Smith is a false prophet whom he gives lie to everyone in order to make himself a very noble man….

  • 258. Alban  |  April 9, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    For Ubi, #256…like I said, I am not a brain specialist, but in my experience of what I have been shown and experience today almost 40 years later, is that #1 everytime I go inside whether it’s while I am driving the car or sitting in ‘formal practice’ the place…not exactly like a location (such as a website for instance) is always present. I am the one who chooses to snack or completely indulge, respectively.

    That place #2. within me was not created out of my imagination, nor have I ever had any preconceived notions of what I could see, hear, taste/smell or feel ‘there’. The net result is the simple peace I have mentioned previously. Sometimes it fires me up and sometimes it is more like a subtle contentment…both quieting my mind and allowing me either to just be in peace OR facilitating very LUCID thinking about issues of my day or of my life overall while I am not having to imagine the result of my decisions or the congrgulations or frustrations of life issues…as I just sense a gratitude I cannot comprehend or label.

    The brain part I know in my experience comes with the decision to immerse myself but the ‘apparatus’ to immerse seems to have the same uncreated quality as the focal point.

    The net result leaves the analysis in the dust…it is as though the analysis cannot keep up. Later more so than sooner, the analysis gets a second wind but cannot still find an appropriate box to measure or label what I have been shown. Because it is incomparable to anything else.

    This I believe is where all of us are at in this particular time, whether we are religious, non-religious, agnostic, atheist, or skeptical, each of us has the birthright to check out the full equitment documentation which is standard on each and every model. That doc however is more like an app as it is not theory it is alive and appliable – applicable to the enjoyment and perhaps more than that, the fulfillment of this life.

  • 259. Ubi Dubium  |  April 9, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    But nothing you have said would give me a way to tell whether what you “feel” is coming from outside your brain, or happening entirely inside your brain. People have things happening in their brain all the time, on many levels, that they are not usually aware of. (Anything from the way we are able to retrieve an old memory to the way we can do a familiar activity, like driving, on autopilot, without having to give any conscious thought to each motion we make.) Perhaps what you feel you are reaching is really a part of your mind that you are otherwise unaware of.

    How can an outside observer tell whether you are actually in contact with something outside of you? The fact that you feel like you are does not help. Many people hear voices in their head or have hallucinations that are clearly a function of their own brain, even though the person themself is certain they are from “outside”.

    What would be convincing would be empirical evidence. Preferably gathered by an objective observer. For instance, if this “outside force” gave you specific answers to questions you could not have otherwise known the answers to, and other people who claimed to be able to reach this force also showed this ability under the same conditions, that would be a good indication of some reality behind your claim. NOT anecdotes, those are subject to confirmation bias. Controlled conditions, repeatable experiments. That’s the kind of thing that could convince a skeptic.

    (And if you were actually able to demonstrate this, reliably, under controlled conditions, the James Randi Foundation has a $1 million dollar prize waiting! So far nobody has come close to winning.)

  • 260. Alban  |  April 10, 2011 at 6:11 am

    An objective determinant is alas, the bane of skepticism towards what must be individually felt. If it were to be validated by an objective ability or generally agreed upon process, the point of the initiation so to speak, would be compromised.

    Previous to me and now almost a million people who have had a similar revelation and have carried it thru over extended time would love nothing more in our enthusiasm and kindness toward ALL people and not just skeptics for an endorsement from skeptics themselves. However the immersion I have referred to is blocked from such “objective” analysis. And not by the source but by we the people ourselves.

    You are correct in challenging blind faith. My initial skepticism first focused on where the blind faith came from. I understood objectively that a powerful experience had prompted in this case, a relatively small number of early Christians, and I understood the sheople syndrome (people are like sheep). I chose to investigate the catalyst of that bind faith, finding it tangibly within myself while also understanding the nature of most people is to choose the path of least resistance, mostly due to a combination of laziness and arrogance that I could see in myself.

    Apparently this observance was not an original thought on my part. The ‘place’ which I have described is sovereign. It posesses a freedom that cannot be perceived in this world without first having the humility and the resolve to feel that freedom here. Ironically, you do not think about humility or resolve when you first discover that you really want that freedom because you never really consider that you ‘lost’ it…because you didn’t.

    So how would you go about searching for or wanting something that you already have? A truly objective experiment would certainly yield redundant results as the subjects would all be alive!! And I’m not stating this to be flip or rude. The experiments you suggest can only be ascertained by probability and outcome which are hardcore results oriented in the parameters of what is universally describable. The region I refer to is not with vocabulary as we know it.

    What I am ‘alledging’ in your thinking cannot exist without third party verification and I do understand your rationale. Remember way back I mentioned I had been a “clear thinking skeptic”. The difference between a close minded skeptic and one who truly wants to know, IS that the latter maintains a self confidence to take a step into what seems to be the unknown, not unlike the 3rd Indiana Jones flick “The Last Crusade” if you saw that, where he must step onto a spot that ‘appears’ to be vacant of footing but is overlooking an extremely deep drop which implication would indicate as certain death.

    The outcome there is similar to taking the chance here in this environment with the ‘knowing’. Again not blind faith oriented. That step not only has footing underneath, it reveals an actual bridge that is simply traversible.

    That movie like life, puts the ‘hero’ in a situation where his purpose is either going to be thwarted by his fear of what seems to be sure death OR the possibility of accomplishment. Belief eradicates this fear like a gloss- over, but reality confronts it that fear. Imagination of fulfillment is not even close to taking that ‘step’. If I knew I had nothing to lose by taking that step and it COULD answer ALL my questions, then what the heck, take the step…but most people are afraid and cover (rationalize) that fear with arrogance.

    It takes a liitle bit of self confidence to get to the accurate (vs.”correct”) door, amongst so many doors but it takes even more confidence to want to walk thru…to take the step over the great abyss.

    This process is very self defining. Courage is an interesting word. We normally associate it with some sort of battle and its source is from the heart, in french I think. If we cannot find the courage to make ourselves whole WHEN it is presented with the full understanding there is no possibility of resultant tragedy if we take the step and no loss of money, then there is no calculated risk whatsoever. In religion a parallel quest adds a significant amount of guilt to what is actually accepting blind faith rather than in this instance accepting a simplicity in its uncompromised state with tangible proof.

    Unfortunately (for) the ego is not the benefactor. It is something else…granted a little more mysterious in how a skeptic would view the lay of the land, but worthy of the heart to take the chance.

    I always liked the notion of the term magical but that brings up fearful connotations to the devout and the skeptical. “Practical” is a much more accurate term in the bigger picture…the higher perspective which is applicable for everyone, not just a chosen few.

    You represent a cross section of people that challenge alot of accepted notions. I surmise that this pursuit has in its foundation, the quest for answers rather than the identification with the stubborn role of inquisitor, although despite your request for brevity, there are seldom short answers when pictures must be painted…surrounding the essence of the message. Someday it will make sense and I emphasize without judgement or prejudice precipitating the initial step.

    Like a kid who is eating mangos under the mango tree watching so many walking by. If and when they want to taste the mangos, somebody is saying wow, these are good…check it out !! That simple.

  • 261. Ubi Dubium  |  April 10, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Word salad again, careful.

    You are telling me I should believe in something, but you do not appear to be able to give me a definite description of what that something is, or any evidence outside of anecdotes that it exists. Among skeptics, we refer to this kind of thing as “woo”.

    I’ve asked if you can demonstrate that this “force” of yours actually exists. Your lengthy words, to me come across as “no, I really don’t have any evidence that this is true, nor can I even pin down what it is, but you should believe it anyway because it will make you happy.”

    I’m not going to believe things are true unless I have actual reasons to believe they are. My best working hypothesis about what you are experiencing is that it is happening entirely within your brain. Until I have some evidence that is inconsistent with that, I’m sticking with my explanation.

    Mangoes? I can describe a mango without having to be vague. I can see, touch, taste and smell it, and compare my findings with others and find that our experience matches. If the boy were claiming to be eating invisible sort-of-mangoes-but-not-really and saying “wow these are good…check it out”, I’d assume he was off his medication!

  • 262. Alban  |  April 10, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Long story short. You have to make that determination. You are the only one who can.

    My initial reason for commenting on this website was to provide insight to some tangible hope and possibly a different perspective on “truth”. People need not give up on truth since it is the component, I think the scientific term is “primordial vibration”, that sustains life. It is debated and colored in many different ways, but is available to simply perceive and to enjoy without judgement. The same way it is given. Not a scientific experiment.

    Sometimes simplicity seems such a letdown from complication. We love explanations and reasons and caselaw. Of all the things that we can enjoy, without it being put on trial, truth in its ‘compartment’ inside each of us waits to be enjoyed. It doesn’t have a reason. It happens to be joyful so good company is more so, at least mathematically speaking.

    While the eyes look out and the thinking process searches to make sense of and categorize every event, it’s hard to be simple let alone to recognize it within oneself. There are a good number of philosophers, psychologists, theologians and yes, woo – rriors that hold explanation sacred as well as skeptics…as though explanations are evidentury.

    The best evidence of truth is inside each of us. Having heard it was possible to access, I did not want to hear 2nd or 3rd party proof again. It does get old. Even as I heard about this, there was something behind the words that had no manipulation in it and there was no charge for it. And If it’s inside me I might as well get acquainted. Plus I liked the stillness in my mind while and after hearing about it.

    I was conflicted for a while. I could not deny that the preliminary stuff felt good, but I had issues related to the proof part up until I had felt such an incredible recognition one day, I demanded to know from one of these ‘knowledgible’ acquaintences if everyday felt this good. When he said yes I knew my skepticism was outshone enough that I could take the next step.

    The variable of feeling good without a reason will do that. I think it was Albert Schweitzer who said “knowledge without experience is just information”. If I had to choose between seeing evidence of the phenomena or experiencing the evidence, I would go with the latter IF I were really interested.

    I knew I wasn’t “going into The Hotel California” that there always has been an open door policy with this experience…and for me it just felt good and to this day, keeps on getting better!! ( I am not aware of any other experience I’ve had in life where this is true)

  • 263. M Hall  |  April 17, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Congratulations of freeing yourself from the bondage and abuse of Mormonism. I feel it is one of the most dangerous religions out there because of their ability to disguise themselves as Christians. The Mormon Church is an impostor of Christianity and they are devouring souls of unwitting people trying to find Christ.

  • 264. Alban  |  April 17, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Now, in my opinion is not the time to argue religion. Now is the time to understand the message of The Christ who indwelt Jesus. “The Kingdom of God is within you”. Feel the longing or the emptiness of your heart and pray for those of you who are comfortable with that mode, for clarity and wisdom and yes, that is discernment in finding the space for the most precious gift to be given you.

    No space, no ability to accept. Accepting is what you must prepare for as it is available now. And now IS where you live, not the experience of others who have come before you. But if you do not have that space – if you think that space is filled, you are asleep. And now is not the time to be asleep.

    I could state this differently but we are the ones who need to understand our blindness. Our outer eyes want to witness a circus. Our inner vision wants to see what is there. One result you will never see…the other you can ask for in life, from a breathing person and literally see. Much more profound and practical than one theatrical moment of arrogant justification.

    Pray about it, meditate upon it and try not to prejudge. Did you ever think that a bowed knee is about fulfillment rather than overcoming embarrassment with acquired humility?

    The alarm CLOCK is ringing. Believing is much more accurate when knowing is first chosen then accepted. Forget the idealogue mentality. Go back to the real basics and ask to be in union with what sustains your life. The results may not fix your life, but to be complete and to be unconditionally joyful put all the challenges and all the successes in an incomparable perspective. One that has a neverending component that is first and foremost enjoyed in physical life.

    THEN the idealogue mentality is possible. Sight, sound and feeling are restored. Religion with all of its assurances and hope does not provide that necessary prerequisite. The blind seeing and the deaf hearing were parables for our own potential. It’s time for all who want, to arise from our slumber. Check out the website previously mentioned

  • 265. Anonymous  |  April 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    All I have to say is that everyone has their own opinion and beliefs. I was baptized as a Mormon in my Freshmen year of high school, and even though I do not agree with everything the Mormon church teaches, you should have some respect in the church rather than bashing everything and everyone you know that are still strong members. You say that you grew up as a Mormon and always had disbeliefs, yet you didn’t get out till later on in life. My brother went on his mission to Japan and I have to say, that was the best thing for him. Yes he learned the language, ate up some good food, and visit places I may never see, but he came back as a strong believer and a better man. The thing i’m trying to say is people believe in what they want to believe in. The other thing that I have to throw out there is that I’m Hawaiian, and in the olden days the Kings and Queens were related, meaning they could have been brother and sister and yes that doesn’t sound right but to them it meant keeping more mana, more power in their blood to rule the Hawaiian islands. They also have other gods like Ku was the god of war and we have many more, but I’m trying to get my point across that even though my families heritage does not coincide with my religion, I still have enough RESPECT to not publicly disbelieve in them both. I hope you may find piece with what ever you may be looking for.

  • 266. Ubi Dubium  |  April 17, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I don’t like this idea about how you need to “respect” religions at all. Respect is for people, not for ideas. Ideas should be questioned, scrutinized, argued about, and the ones that do not work should be discarded. I’m not going to “respect” some old belief just because “its traditional” or “it’s sacred”, whatever that means.

    That being said, I don’t go out of my way to offend people. I don’t bring up the subject in casual conversation, I don’t go into their churches and tell them it’s all rubbish, and I don’t knock on people’s doors to tell them that everything they think is wrong.

    But when somebody comes up to me tries to preach at me, or knocks on my door, or when someone starts preaching on a deconversion website, I’ll let them have it.

    So, Alban, hiding your belief in woo in a flurry of fancy words does not change the fact that you are still pushing woo. This is not the appropriate place for that.

    And “Anonymous”, whichever anonymous you are, you can bash bad ideas without basing people. And you should bash bad ideas. Religion is one of the worst bad ideas of all and deserves to be criticized, not respected. Criticizing religious ideas is not “kapu” here, sorry.

  • 267. cag  |  April 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Ubi, I’ve come to the conclusion that anything from Alban that is longer than 2 words is tl;dr. There is no value there, certainly nothing that brings any enlightenment. It is so vacuous that it makes Deepak Chopra appear… O.K, strike that.

  • 268. Ubi Dubium  |  April 17, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Yes, I’ve given it my best shot, but all I’m seeing is still word salad and woo. I’ve tried to get Alban to do some clear thinking, but it hasn’t helped. so I’m done.

  • 269. Farrah Munoz  |  April 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Nothing that any of the “believers” said here makes any sense. It’s all so much gobble dee gook. And the spelling and grammar, OY don’t get me started!

  • 270. Bradley  |  April 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    I don’t think that the amount of boys in the LDS scouting has anything to do with the program failing. I work in the outdoor industry and if you look at the numbers, most state and federal parks are falling in campers and outdoor enthusiast. OUr whole society is about Entertainment rather than recreation. I think it is sad that your head is full of distaste that you can’t see more clearly. Boy Scouts Girls Scouts all have falling numbers as well. Kids these days don’t get enough outdoor time in general. Plus with all the law suits it is hard to be a leader. Plus most people had 9-5 jobs, now our society is 24-7.

  • 271. Revelation  |  May 6, 2011 at 1:13 am

    THE BOOK OF REVELATION CONTAINS GOD’S COMMENTARY ON 7 CHURCHES AT ONE TIME IN HISTORY. GOD COMMENDS THEM ON WHAT THEY ARE DOING RIGHT AND TELLS THEM WHERE THEY ARE LACKING. THESE ARE EXAMPLES FOR US TO COMPARE :OURSELVES, OUR WORSHIP TIME, OUR WORK TO REVEAL TO OTHERS THE TRUTH. EPHESIANS 2 V19-22 SPEAKS ON PEOPLE BEING THE LIVING STONES OF THE CHURCH. THE CHURCH IS ALSO REFERRED TO AS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST, YEP MEN AND WOMEN ARE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST IF THEY BELIEVE THAT JESUS WAS A PART OF GOD, IF THEY BELIEVE JESUS WAS THE SEED OF THE WOMAN SPOKEN OF IN GENESIS WHO CAME TO CRUSH THE HEAD OF THE SERPENT, IF THEY BELIEVE “IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD AND THE WORD WAS GOD. HE WAS WITH GOD IN THE BEGINNING. ” JOHN 1 V 1-2.
    the little scroll in the book of revelation is the new testament.
    the old and new testament is the written history of God and those who followed God. The bible speaks to 3 different people, jews, gentiles (me) , and unbelievers. you fit in one of those three catagories. I am a Christian. When you base your belief system on Jesus PLUS something else or Jesus MINUS this or that, you are headed down the wrong path. Jesus was not a prophet, He was the WORD becoming flesh, a part of God Himself! This Joseph Smith plus Jesus story called the mormon train of thought is a lie and has its foundations in a man practicing black magic which the Bible speaks against, Your founder of the mormon religion was looking at divining stones in a hat! Wake up people, if you have ears to hear and eyes to see.

  • 272. Guerrero  |  June 27, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Please, could a mormon posting here explain how they can justify/rationalize the racism inherent in LDS teachings. To teach that dark skin is a sign of a curse by God is seriously racist and I’d like to see how one can rationalize that away! Thank you.

  • 273. "Eyes Wide Open"  |  July 20, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Trying to prove or disprove the B of M will be a never-ending battle between science and faith.

    The LDS church is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The wolf’s ugly face is revealed through their doctrine of polygamy. I didn’t get through all the comments yet, so maybe someone has already brought this up…The LDS church STILL “practices” polygamy TODAY. Yes, I said it. It’s not just a “thing of the past” What I mean is, they currently allow men to be sealed to more than one woman (if their first wife dies or they divorce). The church has not “abandoned” the practice of polygamy, not even close. In their minds, it is still going strong in the next life

    This is NEVER mentioned and only admitted when asked about it SPECIFICALLY. It seems like a critical doctrine to make investigators and members aware of since it is believed to be a core principal and part of what the eternal outcome will be for a faithful member who can endure to the end (becoming gods and creating worlds).

    It’s like eating a piece of candy and finding poop in the middle. Everyone will tell you, “oh just go around the poop and eat the rest. You’ll be able to eat the poop later when you understand more about it.” Uh, okay…

    Why is polygamy evil? Because it turns the hearts of men toward power (the church promises all of God’s power to create worlds and be just as God is…and they include polygamy as part of that promise) and kills and or desensitizes the hearts of women.

    If the forces of evil are trying to destroy the hearts of men and women… polygamy accomplishes that…in fact, it “kills two birds with one stone!”

    All those TBM (true believing mormons) who say polygamy makes sense in the next life when referring to creating worlds…safe your breath. Eternity is ETERNITY, there’s no rush…monogamy will do just fine.

  • 274. Matthew J Swiger  |  October 30, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I don’t know. To me, this tells me a lot, but I’m still highly confused and conflicted. I was led into the mormon church by my ex, who only used the church for money, and the two bishops we had during the time together were dense enough to just hand money to her and her mother at every turn…

    Not the point. Point is, I’ve had questions and concerns, debates and curiosities, and there’s good and bad. I just wish I knew for sure. That “Know” thing? I’ve never had that…I’ve prayed but never heard God say anything about the church.

    However recently a church I went to years ago has come back into my life, they want me to check them out again. It was the one church I went to on a regular basis, the one church that helped me out the most spiritually. So do I go with them? What do I do, I don’t know…

    I don’t agree with the marrying early. The mormon church kinda rushed me to marry my ex, and that’s what happened…but it was an abusive relationship and I had to get out. The missionaries even (later missionaries) said that “While spiritually we say stick it through, personally, we would leave the relationship.” I don’t think I’m ready to be in another relationship and I’m not ready to be looked down spiritually for being single.

    I want a connection with God, not a disconnect. I don’t know much about the mormon faith, and to be honest, it scares me a bit. What scares me more is that asking any mormon about mormonism, you’re going to hear only good things. Asking any non mormon, you’re going to hear bad things. So if this church is supposed to be so “true” and not conflicting, why the heck IS it so confusing?! I want to find a non-biased Mormon who can tell me straight up the TRUTH. I want to find a non-biased non-mormon who can also tell me what they think.

    But I will agree with a comment I saw here that quoted that typical speech you hear at the end of EVERY SINGLE TALK: “I know this church to be true. i know Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know the book of Mormon to be true.” etc etc etc. I swear, I have the whole dialogue memorized. It’s not a testimony, it’s a dang script is what it sounds like to me!

  • 275. Ubi Dubium  |  October 30, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    As a non-mormon my advice is “take a break from church. From ALL churches, not just the mormon ones. Right now you’re confused, you’re conflicted, you have questions and concerns, and you’ve been lied to and hurt. Any church you go to will tell you they have all the answers to your questions, but no two churches will be giving the same answers. They can’t all be right. They can, however, all be wrong. Spend some time looking for answers on your own, instead of looking for a church to give you answers.

    One exception to this – Unitarian Universalists. If you really feel more comfortable in a church setting, try them. They have no dogma and are more about helping you find your own answers than telling you what those answers should be.

  • 276. Anonymous  |  December 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    youre all fucking pussys

  • 277. Mary  |  December 29, 2011 at 11:48 am

    A friend of mine stated that the Masons were temple builders. I found out that the founding fathers of the church were Masons, and took the Masonic rituals, and incorporated them into the Mormon church. The first angel on the Nauvoo Temple was Masonic, and the church does not display this angel on the new Nauvoo temple. In addition, many of the icons used by the Masons are used by the Mormons in their temples. Most missionaries don’t know that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and others were Masons. Mormons are told that the temple practices are not secret, but sacred. Masons kept the practices secret for years.

    Why is the Book of Mormon written in old English, and why are Mormon prayers in thee, thy and thou?

    If the Lamanites are Hebrew it would be indicated by current studies.

  • 278. Alban  |  December 31, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Rites and rituals are often symbols of attainmentment or initiation created by founders of agendas that control people. To belong to such groups that maintain rituals seems purposeful, but those perpetuating, understand the need to belong. Combine that with the a noble ideal and voila, you have an agreed upon bond.

    Every religion that has a central figure is not created by that central figure but by men whose initial intentions were to preserve the memory, the works and the inspiration of that central figure. The hierarchy now however, of those organizations have different objectives behind closed doors often manipulating the bond for selfish purpose.

    We the heirs of religion copy the rituals but confuse the ritual inspiration with the original one. which itself WAS observation acceptence and interpretation in the presence of a breathing gifted luminary who could not only articulate that gift but who could inspire and in some cases not including Young and Smith, show interested people the same gift within them. The common bond of humanity did not need a book, belief or ritual to inspire!

    In the aftermath we are left with blind secondhand inspiration, spurred on by belief, book(s) and ritual. See how the fraternity changes? Initially it is an inner personal experience connecting to the “mysterious” source of life itself which WE ALL share -since we are alive…our true common bond. Sadly it devolves without the ‘magical, mysterious’ living breathing source often into arrogant exclusionary clubs. Yet as Ubi points out, some are not exclusionary thank goodness.

    The common theme then for most secret organizations aside from religions is a contrived mystery or magic that the hierarchy perpetually maintains. The secret initiation places individuality and the individual’s growth into the context of what best perpetuates the “Unbreakable Sacred Bond ” of the group’s stated purpose.

    Align ourselves with that prescribed purpose and we become loyal brother/sister subjects. Dissent and we become outcasts.

    Governments, religion and secret organizations all understand the concept of ‘sheeple’ as the root inspiration becomes overshadowed by the need to control. This type of power becomes intoxicating so all means of not so obvious preservation are excercised. When an innocent stumbles into the shenannigans and blows the whistle, he or she is shamed, ridiculed or eliminated. Collateral damage.

    Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin purposely distanced themselves in varying degrees from these organizational ties. Both were sovereign individuals and encouraged the same in all Americans. Knowing the weakness however of most individuals these two principally, created a government where the sovereignty of indivials could not be directly manipulateed by the government.

    But we “The Sheeple” persist. We are encouraged and prodded with controlled agreed upon inspiration to behave, the more complacent, the better. Questions are good as long as you accept the partyline answers.

    Thee and thou sound better in church than bro and dude…just guessin’.

    .

  • 279. Roxanne  |  January 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    To perform a public service, I thought I’d boil down Alban’s messages and post the result. (Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands! – grin)

    Alban left all the truly pertinent information on his April 5, 2011 5:11 am post when he mentioned “mspeaks.com” and “WOPG.org”.

    This leads to the site of a Westernized Indian guru who teaches a supposedly special form of meditation.

    You watch a series of videos and are brought to some sort of realization in a number of steps. Then (after having put much of your own time and effort into it, and built up desire and increased willingness to suspend disbelief) you can only receive the final step/enlightenment in a more immediate fashion from the guru. It is billed as cost-free.

    You have to promise, after receiving the final step, not to divulge it to anyone. Which protects the ownership of the “brand” as well as preventing inquirers from making an informed choice.

    What I found on my web search was rather unsettling, but I’m not sure how seriously to take the more lurid claims. There is exploitation and abuse in just about every movement, and not all the fault of the founder. Yet, one can see what might be causing the muddy thinking.

    Some skeptics find meditation valuable. It has some scientific rationale behind it. However, this is just one method of many, and there are others to choose from that are more open about costs and methods, and don’t revolve around a personality. Caveat emptor.

  • 280. Alban  |  January 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Roxanne, I love the objectivity. Skepticism is healthy. Always has been. Always will be.

    Peace (apart from outcomes and relativity) by the same measure has a pretty long lifeline as well. The contention for interested skeptics could be then, does it exist at all?

    The irony is this particular peace is self contained. That may seem outrageous or even superfilous, but if true, it may warrant some investment of time. Learning is a time cost. This subject does not have money as a prerequisite nor is it expected. Donations are not leveraged at all, much less by guilt.

    If any person can place a value on the attempt to discover whether or not this assertion of uncreated peace is true, then it may be a worthwhile pursuit. If little or no value is perceived then no effort need be made.

    It’s one thing to debate whether the ability to perceive this peace is actually possible, It’s another to place oneself in a position to find out tangibly.

    One of the things I enjoy most about this subject is the simplicity. There are no rights or wrongs, no judgement, no levels of achievement, no complicated formulas. Just a simple feeling of peace without strings. That begats simple gratitude and a perspective that sees life and the relativity of living with a keener focus.

    I was skeptical when the contention of understanding how a forest could exist within a single acorn came my way. Also, would anyone just believe an ocean exists within every drop in the ocean?

    No explanations were going to satisfy me. I had to know and approached that contention as a high value quest. I felt the quality of my life had a stake in those answers. And I am still investing time enjoying the ongoing discovery.

    Look at it as one possible option of discovery. One that does shed a little bit of light on religious controversy.

    The promise not to divulge has more to do with understanding and appreciating value as the subject’s realization is not a commodity. It cannot be bought or sold. I understand that is how most people think, so it’s a fair observation from that perspective.

    Most of the worlds older scriptures describe this mystery but if you didn’t know what you’re looking for, the descriptions would not mean anything to you. This subject is best understood by first realiizing we have no prerequisite understanding.

    And that is a challenge for almost everyone. That’s why there’s at least one breathing teacher who can inspire fulfillment. Each of us is a tough nut to crack, not exactly childlike in our sense of wonder.

  • 281. RULDS2?  |  January 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” said our Lord on the cross. The same I hope he feels towards you (author). His grace is perfect but his cup is getting full.
    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet, just like i know Moses was a prophet, also Abraham, and Noah and many others. They are just men, but Holy men of God who are moved by the Spirit.
    Many of you can criticize, show, twist words, prove, but God is unchanging, so is his Church.
    By the way, don’t be surprised if Jesus brings a man named Nephi at your judgement to witness :-)))))

    P.S. I couldn’t miss these words – “Roxanne, I love the objectivity. Skepticism is healthy. Always has been. Always will be.”
    Skepticism is negative, anything negative comes from the devil. Judge ye.

  • 282. T.O.T3n1  |  January 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    @RULDS2? Give me a break guy. You know that the lds faith is real? J.S was nothing more than a criminal and liar. You cannot gain access to Heaven if J.S says so? Who is he to claim such things. The Lord, and only the Lord will judge who is worthy of entrance. If you believe in false prophets and their doctrine then you are lost. You are also a racist too for thinking that God judges us people by their skin color. Your church does nothing but try and whitewash its history. And speaking of history, none of what you lds people believe and say is true can be verified by science or any other form. Ive read your pathetic book of morons and only a fool would believe that its true. All you morons are bound for Hell with your beliefs in multiple gods. And yes, its in the real Bible, not your Moron version of the K.J.B.

  • 283. Ubi Dubium  |  January 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Oh my goodness! A Believer in one version of an invisible man in the sky arguing with a Believer in a slightly different version of the invisible man in the sky about whose prophets are real. Telling each other they are going to Hell. And even trying to use science and history to justify their version. This is like the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where we are listening to the courtiers argue about which of the Emperor’s outfits is the best, when he’s not actually wearing anything.

    Too funny.

  • 284. T.O.T3n1  |  January 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    @UBI: Even though you are not a believer, I must let this fool know what his own faith says. They use science to prove their faith true but its science that says that its not. You seem like an intelligent man UBI so even you should know the difference between what we think is real and what isnt.

  • 285. Ubi Dubium  |  January 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    @T.O.

    …even you should know the difference between what we think is real and what isnt.

    Yes, that’s why I’m a non-believer. I figured out that all prophets are false prophets. Thank for saying that I seem intelligent, but you assumed I am male, which is not the case.

    @RULD – you claim skepticism is negative. Far from it. Skepticism is the insistence that claims require evidence. And that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    A magical all-powerful invisible man who demands unquestioning obedience, and will reward followers with happiness in some afterlife as long as they believe in a particular ancient book? That’s a really extraordinary claim, and the extraordinary evidence is lacking.

  • 286. cag  |  January 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    UBI #283 – I would have used “imaginary” instead of “invisible”. Invisibility does not equal non-existence, while imaginary does.

    How anybody today can believe in a book that claims the Earth is the centre of the Universe (In the beginning god created the heaven and the earth), that creation of the earth took 5 days and all the rest of the universe took 1 day is strange indeed.

    Geocentric universe(Genesis 1:1), flat earth(Isaiah 11-12:, Revelation 7:1), light and plants before the sun is created (Genesis 1:11), errors ad nauseum. Using the bible as proof of anything is the height of human folly.

  • 287. Ubi Dubium  |  January 11, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Cag, I think “imaginary” too, but their claim is not “imaginary”, just “invisible and otherwise undetectable”.

    I’m quite amused by a True Mormon and a True Believer fighting on a de-conversion website over which of them is going to hell. Perhaps next they will go to an AA meeting and fight over which vodka is the best.

  • 288. T.O.T3n1  |  January 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Sorry UBI for thinking you are a man. And Absolut is by far the best. But there are some others that arent bad!!! And it seems the fight is so far one-sided. I respect people but will not respect a faith that in fact teaches racsim. Have a great day!!!

  • 289. bert10  |  January 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    33 Reasons…

    You have it wrong. GOD was doing you a favor when you were not put on the fast track. The sins of Israel are alive and well in this church. There is no doubt that the BOM is gathering Israelites. I know it’s hard to believe…but this is going according to God’s plan. And as GOD said..because of Vanities and unbelief…the condemnation still remains. The Lord will cleanse this church as He promised to do. And men will no longer equate wealth to blessings and shall begin view it more of a burden and a curse. Prosperity is having what one requires at the right time. So wealth is a barrier to heaven and people who are wealthy cannot help themselves from buying luxuries of all types…which shows that they love themselves more than the poor.

    The main reason why people are leaving the Church is because of a lost of testimony or they have joined without acquiring one. if that is the case…It is designed to work this way that the people leave.

    bert10

  • 290. Ubi Dubium  |  January 12, 2012 at 10:20 am

    The main reason why people are leaving the Church is because of a lost of testimony or they have joined without acquiring one. if that is the case…It is designed to work this way that the people leave.</blockquote?
    The main reason why people are leaving the church is that they stopped believing what the church was teaching.

  • 291. Anonymous  |  January 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    The mormon church is nothing more than a multi-billion dollar a year real-estate organization. After 35 years with it and getting absoulutly no-wheres, I want desprately to get out and tell it and all the brain-washed members where to head into. If you are not in the catagory of being over $100,000 a year income, have high community status or or an even higher academic achievment, you will never be “called” to one of there positions of authority. Like me, I never amounted to a “calling” higher than the toilet cleaner or chapll janitor. I hate it but in order to keep my 34 year marriage together to a wife I love, I’m stuck here till i die. It’s nothing but the rich having power and authority over the less fortunate and controlling them.

  • 292. Ubi Dubium  |  January 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Anonymous, I don’t know if you’ll see this reply. But you are not alone. There is a whole internet full of de-converts for you to talk to, commiserate with, and get emotional support from. If you have not already found it, I suggest checking out the exchristian.net website (Google it). It’s very active, and even if you are stuck where you are, as long as you have access to a computer you don’t have to stick it out by yourself.

  • 293. Jopar  |  January 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

    My wife and I have recently made up our minds that the Mormon religion just isn’t right (without going into details). Now, I have been a member all my life, but always had a nagging feeling about some of the teachings, leadership, history, and prophecies were very wrong. My membership was that of fear. I found this article (both opinionated and backed with fact) to be very reassuring in my views and logic about the Mormon religion. Thank you for this.

  • 294. bert10  |  January 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Ans Dubium to 290. You are right…the people are leaving because they do not believe the teachings of God which the Church expects people to obey. And the reason why people do not believe the LDS church concerning tithing and other commandments of GOD is because of a lost of testimony. The teachings of the LDS is sound and based on Commandments. As for tithing you guys forget that in a church of GOD..authority flows downward…and loyalty, duty love and worship and glory and responsibility flows upward all the way up to God. In churches of he Devil…the order is reversed and the church is responsible for pleasing the people instead God. Where the order of heaven is reversed it is not of God.

    bert10

  • 295. Ubi Dubium  |  January 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Um, Bert, no. It’s nothing to to with testimony or loyalty or duty or commandments. That’s what you’d like to think, but that isn’t the reason.

    When people have seen the man behind the curtain, they can’t go back to believing in the “Great and powerful Oz” anymore. It’s a humbug, it always was a humbug. All of it, every religion. Your religion isn’t special, and your god is pretend.

  • 296. bert10  |  January 24, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Well it is not humbug. People get blinded and behave exactly like they did with Jesus…Did you know at Jesus ascension only about 500 were left and worthy enough to see it. Everyone else eventually fell away…because it was said..that He was beelzebub, spent his time teaching lies, consorted with women of ill repute, was a drunkard and blasphemed GOD etc. Does this sound familiar to you?

    Had J. Smith been a fraud the LDS religion would not have survived the two great persecutions..and the two great moves. Also the LDS paralleled the History of Israel..for example like Israel the LDS lost their first two temples, like Israel they were twice driven from their lands..like Israel they went into the wilderness and so on. And the fanatical hatred of J. Smith is also what Jesus experienced. The Romans and the Greeks and the Jews..did what Christians are sort of doing today. It took almost 400 years for that religion to become mainstream. We are only at about 200 years. So we are right on schedule to parallel that as well.

    bert10

  • 297. Ubi Dubium  |  January 24, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Several generations after Jesus’s supposed “ascension” somebody wrote that there were 500 witnesses. We don’t have accounts from any of those “witnesses”. I could write that “500 people witnessed a miracle from the Invisible Space Pickle yesterday”, and it would be just as reliable. (And the books of the NT don’t even agree about when this “ascension” took place. Look it up.)

    Had Buddha been a fraud, Buddhism would not have survived and grown. If Bahá’u’lláh was a fraud, then the Ba’hais would not have survived persecution, and there are five to six million of them now. But i’m thinking you don’t believe in or follow either of these prophets, correct? But if you had been born into a Ba’hai family, they would have raised you to believe in that religion just as fervently as you believe in LDS now. Think about this.

    The Church of the Flying Spaghtti Monster (pbuH) was founded in 2005. We already have tens of thousands, probably millions of followers, all over the world. And that’s without even sending out any missionaries! Nobody has to be indoctrinated from a young age or pressured into it, they just read the words of our Prophet Bobby (pbuH too) realize how True they are, and they convert! I don’t know of any other religion that can match our growth rate.

    If LDS isn’t humbug, then neither is CoFSM. May you be Touched by His Noodly Appendage. RAmen.

  • 298. bert10  |  January 26, 2012 at 4:27 am

    No other religion paralleled Israel like the LDS…and no other religions saw as many great Miracles produce by GOD to save them twice from the mobs and militias and even the Army. Yet all the devils of hell their minions on the earth combined against the LDS and have failed because they were supported by God. The facts are there and they are recent enough to be checked and there is nothing you can do to make them go away.

    bert10

  • 299. Ubi Dubium  |  January 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

    So your religion parallels a superstitious warlike mideastern bronze-age tribe? So what? Maybe there is another religion out there that parallels the Hittites like no other. How is this even important? That kind of argument will only work on people who already think there is something special about Israel.

    The Fundies claim faith-healing miracles every day. The Catholics canonize their saints based on claimed miracles. The Muslims say their early conquests were so successful because they were supported by god. Pretty much every religion claims miracles. LDS is not unique or different in this.

    Your comment shows that you really need some study of other religions, and not just the stuff LDS has been feeding you. Try the outsider test for religion. Study a few other religions and look carefully at why, as an outsider, you do or don’t believe in them. Then look at your own religion with that same critical eye and see if it passes muster.

  • 300. T.O.T3n1  |  January 26, 2012 at 11:57 am

    @bert10: You friend are lost. The moron church didnt even begin calling themselves christians till 1975. Before that all the so-called prophets (presidents) of your false faith claimed that christianity was dead and should be kept that way. So you will become a god huh? is joseph smith a god? how many wives do you have? do you pay your 10% to the church? are you allowed in the temples? are Jesus and satan brothers? you are a fool if you even said yes to one of these questions. read up on your own religion and open your eyes to the truth or keep your cock-holster shut.

  • 301. bert10  |  January 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    We are the only church in the world where we can feed and clothes and support our members. In Churches of the devil…the storehouse of the Lord is empty…making it a farce and a abomination unto God..

    The tree is judged by its fruits and when the tree is bare as in the storehouse, it is because the religion and their leaders are powerless. Fleecing the sheep is what many churches are good for…where does the money go…to support the lifestyle of a paid clergy.

    I do not fight with opinions, bigotry and delusions and with lies given by anti-LDS sites…There is absolutely nothing that a Christian church can offer me or say that can change my own personal testimony of GOD.

    bert10

  • 302. Ubi Dubium  |  January 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Bert, the Mormon church does not “feed and clothe and support” it’s members! The members are required to give great gobs of money to the church! They are the ones supporting it, and the church uses that money to support, among other things, building huge lavish pointy houses to honor their invisible friend. If you tithe, then you are yourself one of the sheep being fleeced.

    As for feeding the poor and housing the homeless, most churches do at least some of that, and lots of secular groups do too. Nothing special there.

    Bert, if there is nothing that could ever happen that would shake your faith in your invisible friend, then why are you even commenting on a de-conversion website? What’s the point? You are talking to people whose faith has been shaken so hard that it broke, so you really don’t have any common experience of doubt to let you connect with a de-convert. You won’t convert anybody back with your assertions, so why are you even bothering? (This isn’t specifically an anti-Mormon site. This is an anti-religion site, focusing on helping people leave any form of christinanity).

    (T.O, I agree with a few of your points, but there is no call for rudeness or insults. If you want to help someone see more clearly, don’t start by poking him in the eye. )

  • 303. bert10  |  January 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    My friend who was disabled has lived off the storehouse many times in past years. What you say do not agree with what I have experienced with this church. Each church of GOD is responsible first to its members…Just as Jesus was sent first the House of Israel..not to the Gentiles. I am not trying to convert anyone…it is the Holy Ghost that does it. And convincing only succeeds in many enemies of the Church as they must fall away at some point. Why do I bother? There needs to be somebody who can speak with experience against those who spread lies, disinformation as though it was the truth.

    bert10

  • 304. T.O.T3n1  |  January 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I must apologize for the recent post. I let a friend post and this is what we get. @Bert10: You want truth? Then you need to really step back and see whats going on. Your church feeds the poor? Then why is it that if you go to one of their numerous food banks you must be LDS in order to recieve food? Think im lying? I have talked to many of your ex-mormon brethren about the things you think are truth and its all lies from what I get from them. But im sure that you will call these people anti-mormon because they finally woke up. I myself do not go to anti-mormon sites but I was told to go to your mormon . org site because your lds faithful say they do not call J.S a god and guess what it says right on your site? The God Joseph Smith was typed right there. Bert, if you believe that dark skinned people are cursed by God because they where less valiant than white people in the pre-life then you sir are a racist. You need to read the book; Tale of 2 cities. Then maybe you will understand what your church really teaches about their faith. I already know what is being taught. Ive read the same books you have read and its all false. As Ubi has stated this is a anti site but since you want to say your church is soooo true ill sit here all day and let you know its not. Please open your eyes and heart and maybe your soul will be saved. Your aware that your B.o.M has many versus from other authors before J.S and the King James Bible right? Your book is claimed to be written about 420 A.D but why does it have all these versus from books that were out right around your prophets time? K.J.B was not out till the 18th century so your claims are false. See where im going with this?

  • 305. Anonymous  |  January 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Bert, Your not going to get anywhere here. I do believe in a Heavenly Father. I do believe in his son Jesus the Christ. But as for the “people” he has placed in charge of the LDS church, It is FRAUD. You tell me what I should think when I find out for a fact that a stake president sneeks off to Las Vegas for a weekend to have sex with a prostitute. You tell me what I should think when reports come in from other ward members that a bishop or stake authority out-right robs and steals through businesses of theirs to get gain. These evil beings who say they have a testimoney of their master Jesus Christ and then screw any they can for money are monsters. This phoney church now back-peddles on how this continent first became inhabited. There is not one confirmed bit of evidence that shows Hebrew/Jewish DNA in any north american indian tribe. [ and this is just for starters]. I’m going to stop at this point and go for a walk to cool off. I WILL keep an eye on this thread. My Name is Michael.

  • 306. bert10  |  January 28, 2012 at 2:23 am

    It is not up to you to judge all LDS by what one person does. In fact it is not up to you to judge this man if you truly believe in our Father and His Son who said…Judge ye not. How many of the great and greatest of Christianity were caught with prostitutes? I do not have to name names they were all on tv for the world to witness their shame. But is that representative of all Christians as you are trying to attribute to LDS? Christians leaders in the past have massacred over the ages what amounts to millions of people..and yet it did not faze you one bit to join their religion base on your prejudice of the LDS. If you were to use the same logic you would not join any Christian religions..I guess that would leave you with the Eastern ones which are not bad…in themselves. They concentrate more on Light than love and the Christian teachings concentrate more on love than light.

    a tree is judged by its fruits…But the man is judged by GOD alone. And this man is not fooling God. In all religion there are some who make terrible mistakes….and if left alone..GOD will act in one way or another in their lives..to either bring them to repentance or to the grave. The higher one goes up in the Church…the greater and quicker is the fall…for the law is where much is given much is required.

    The Lord whishes men to work and fix themselves before trying to do it to others.

    bert10

  • 307. T.O.T3n1  |  January 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Bert10: You are a mormon. Mormons believe god was once a man that gained his godliness. And god has a god and so on and so forth. You think you will become a god and inherit a planet or something crazy. You being a mormon also means that you cannot enter heaven without J.S approval. Who is J.S to say such things? There is nothing true about your faith but all you 14 million (also false numbers) members are so blind to everything around you. You claim to be Christians but you live in direct contradiction of what Jesus spoke. Lets just point out the 2 that the mormons claim you must follow or do. You are only blessed if you have money and tithe to their church (no tithings, no temple marriage!) and you must keep the sabbath day holy. So if you have to work on Sundays you are not living Gods plan. Sounds like the Jewish traditions are in play here. But please continue down your path believing and following a false prophet(s) and their false teachings. Its your soul that will burn, not mine.

  • 308. Anonymous  |  January 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Guys, let’s slow down a moment. My point for the situation I’m in is this- I was a catholic for the first 22 years of my life. Knowing something was not adding up I came across the LDS church. OK, so I looked into it and at the time it was appealing. 35 years later I’ve found it’s just as bogus as the last. I’ve gotten no-wheres and am just as much a “peon” now as when i joined. Because I’ve never been able to afford the schooling and recieve a masters degree ,[academic achievement] own my own muti-million dollar a year business [civic achievement] or just be in the income catagory of making at least $100,000 a year, I’ve been in this rut and am not considered worthy of a higher calling. I only have two children and that is a mark against me also in this church. I don’t believe for one minute the president of this curch is a true prophet. He’s voted in by a twelve man board of directors. HE”S NOTHING MORE THAN A CEO. I would like to believe, but there just too many things that just don’t add up. More to follow. Michael

  • 309. T.O.T3n1  |  January 29, 2012 at 12:49 am

    So Micheal, what did not add up for you in the Catholic Church? Its obvious what wasnt right in the LDS church but im interested in the C.C. So give me your thoughts on whats not right please.

  • 310. Anonymous  |  January 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I felt that and still feel there is so much more than what I was able to comprehend at the time I was in the Catholic church. I was searching for more than just a service that spoke mostly in latin and left me with a bewildered feeling of uncertainty once I went home. I believed and still believe there is much more to a being that can litterly pull the atoms out of the very air we breathe and make them conform to his will.. With that in mind, I also believe that being is in charge of a huge organization with much work and many assignments to further his cause. I see/saw an organization I thought was good in the LDS church. His principals are there but that is all. The orchestrators in charge of running it are only human but yes, I will not let them intimidate and be-little me any longer. If it’s only for the easily brainwashed, the very wealthy and those that love power and control over the less-fortunate in it’s membership, then it’s no longer for me. Another paragraph will follow surprising you why I’m thinking twice now about the Catholic church. Michael

  • 311. Blonde Girl Porn  |  January 29, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    I savor, lead to I found just what I was taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  • 312. bert10  |  January 30, 2012 at 2:47 am

    307. T.O.T3n1 You do not know what I know nor what I believe. – Jesus followed in the Father’s footstep.

    We do not become Gods we are already are..at the resurrection we shall become immortals what remains to be seen is by how much shall individual men inherit from the Father. As for being Eternal…Jesus is Eternal so are we. Jesus is now Everlasting after the Resurrection concerning His body of flesh that is sealed to His Eternal spirit…so shall we be everlasting when our body is sealed to our Spirit…that is the only way it can be done..by sealing a body to the Spirit which is Eternal the body becomes Everlasting. The only thing this..we become immortals either to happiness or to torments.

    I am not the one that is teaching that it is impossible to be as perfect as our Father in heaven as Jesus commanded neither am I the one that is teaching to rebel and reject also this commandment of Jesus who said…Be ye Holy for I am holy. So before throwing stones at other people glass houses……

    bert10

  • 313. Ubi Dubium  |  January 30, 2012 at 10:31 am

    Bert and T.O.
    You guys are still arguing about the qualities of your invisible man in the sky. You are each totally convinced you are correct, and you can’t both be right. If god were so all-powerful and wanted people to believe correctly, you’d think the least he could do would be to SHOW UP and clear up all the confusion. But he never does, does he? I’m just watching the show with you two, and I think I need another bowl of popcorn.

    Michael,
    You have stopped just believing what you are told, and are now thinking twice about things. Congratulations! You aren’t a sheep anymore. Follow wherever this journey leads you, and don’t be afraid to try out new ideas about the world if the old ones don’t line up with reality.

    A Unitarian chuch is a good place for someone who is seeking. They are very non-judgmental and don’t tell their members what to believe, but are there to support people’s search for truth while also providing all the usual church amenities (Sunday services, lots of education, social justice projects and potlucks). If you are unhappy with your current church, you might want to give the Unitarians a try while you figure out things. Or maybe try a liberal protestant group like the Methodists. I hope you find something that suits you better.

  • 314. T.O.T3n1  |  January 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    @Ubi: This is something only a few people know about me. Ive stood in the One True Gods presence and His Sons. But ive also seen the devil and his minions. I know what awaits us after death and where we will go if we do not live our lives right. As for Bert10, ive seen heaven and there is only 1 God there, plain and simple. Ive been givin a gift and I still have visions to this day. Does that make me a prophet or a god? No way. Im just a man, humble before God. I may not know you or what you believe, but I know whats real and what awaits us. Jesus talked about false prophets and false doctrine. He also talked about how He would never leave his Church. The first and only church of Christ. You can believe me or think that im crazy but I know what ive been shown.

  • 315. T.O.T3n1  |  January 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I pray that everyone on earth could have what I have. My visions have been documented through my priest and local clergy. I pray for all you that you may be brought into Gods Light.

  • 316. Anonymous  |  January 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Ubi, it’s quite a different feeling I have to make this determination at this point of time in my life. I realize I still have much to do in respects to following the teachings of Jesus Christ. I’m not an evil-doer. I’m always fully aware to be compassionate and considerate to everyone. So many in the LDS church succomb to their teachings that instill fear if one is to question the authority of that churches officials. It is a boat that few dare to rock without serious repercussins to their positions. I am going to rest for a season then proceed. The decision I made to go a seperate path from a church I no longer believe in is a relief. I don’t think Christ will desert me. Michael

  • 317. T.O.T3n1  |  January 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    @Michael: Christ never leaves us. It is us, humans, that leave Christ.

  • 318. bert10  |  February 1, 2012 at 2:07 am

    316.Anonymous. No one can deny what you have seen. But if you did not see the vision of what Stephen saw which was Jesus at the right Side of the Father…Then I do not know what you saw…or know the purpose of your vision. And if that is not enough for you Jesus Himself said that we would see the Son of Man

    “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on
    the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.”

    In Scriptures the testimony of two is true.

    I do not deny what you saw…but to make this the truth for everyone else is an error.

    bert10

  • 319. T.O.T3n1  |  February 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    “I do not deny what you saw…but to make this the truth for everyone else is an error.”

    “bert10″

    So can be said about your prophet J.S. So what everyone else has seen is not truth?

  • 320. Ubi Dubium  |  February 1, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Michael,
    I certainly agree with your taking a “sabbatical” from church attendance. You can see from Bert and T.O.’s comments here the effects of too much church. Both of them are so sure they have the right answer and that everybody else is wrong. Every church service they go to they get together with the other True Believers to reassure themselves of how right they are and how wrong everybody else is. “We’re all saved and they’re all going to hell!” They come across like a chorus of clanging gongs and crashing cymbals.

    Take some time off, all that you need. Read everything that you can, especially the things that your church has told you not to read. Ask the tough questions and look for your own answers. “It’s a mystery” is church-speak for “we don’t know, so shut up and don’t ask anymore”, and is a cop-out answer that you don’t have to accept. Be open to the possiblity that all of the churches are wrong, and that the right answer may lie elsewhere. Above all, keep thinking for yourself.

  • 321. Anonymous  |  February 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you Ubi, and before I go, Your quite right, The savior would never leave us. Take care, Michael

  • 322. T.O.T3n1  |  February 2, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    @Ubi: I never claimed to have the right answers. And for the mysteries, we dont know. Thats the truth. We are human, and humans will make their own laws and rules to govern men. But when you follow what Christ left us with, and only what He left us with, then its okay. I dont even believe everything my church says, only what God says. Im sorry you do not have faith in God or believe in Him. Its your choice and I respect your opinions and beliefs. @Mike: Do what your heart tells you to do, regardless of what we say here. Good luck in your search and may God guide you on the correct path.

  • 323. bert10  |  February 3, 2012 at 2:23 am

    319. T.O.T3n1

    the Vision of J. Smith is in 100% line what Stephen testified to before dying and what Jesus said…in both reports it is stated that the Son and the Father are two different beings. The mystery of Oneness was reserved unto whom Paul said….”Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect etc. This wisdom what was spoken orally to them that were perfect was not the wisdom of this world. In the definition of what is life Eternal in the NT…says..that one must know that the title of ONE TRUE GOD belongs to the Father…and we are to know that it was He that sent His Son Jesus Christ to us.

    bert10

  • 324. Ubi Dubium  |  February 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    T.O., you said “I never claimed to have the right answers.” I do think you did just that, above. Earlier you made all sorts of assertions about jesus and god, and how people have souls that need saving, and and how everybody should believe this. That sounds like you claim you have the right answers about religion. Bert also thinks he has the right answers about religion. My Muslim friends and my Jewish friends also think they have the right answers about religion. The problem is that you all disagree with each other about what god wants.

    But thank you for your kind words to Michael. Many people who admit to having doubts, or being dissatisfied with the answers they get from organized religion find themselves attacked and shunned. In their churches, in their families, and online as well. Many de-converts are told that they are “backsliding”, “angry at god”, “just want to sin” or “have been seduced by the devil”. Many churches make it very hard to admit to anything less than complete belief in their dogma. It’s nice to see a believer encouraging someone to search for their own answers.

  • 325. T.O.T3n1  |  February 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    @Ubi: If I may. Im only stating what God has revealed to me and what I believe. As for Mike, hopefully he finds what he is looking for. Now to Bert10: Im sorry for my behavior thus far. I should not hold your beliefs against you. Im not being a good Christian by bashing you, forgive me. Joseph Smith may have been a bad guy but we as people are not allowing you and other LDS faithful to show us that your changing what he did and are following a different path. A path of kindness and other moral values that other Christians dont show. So may the peace of the Lord be with you and your family.

  • 326. Alban  |  February 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Interesting reading. Seems obvious that we all are searching for answers – looking perhaps to have life’s greatest question answered

    Offering up suggestions to possibly reframe some assumptions that get in the way of knowing what may be Divine. What is the one element we all have in common, irrespective of beliefs?

    Given that being alive is obvious, what pushes us to assume that the possible ultimate answer in knowing God begins in complication? As we rationalize our existence we overlook our base simplicity…See how quickly that happened – did you see it? Almost like slight of hand.The slippery edge of our pre-occupation with right and wrong obliviates that simple opening, immediately thrusting us into explanation.

    Life is the common denominator of all life. More than glossing it over or giving it lip service or theorizing it, consider the unimagineable size of it. Is there any place that it is not?

    Sooo, what about within us? Immediately before the slippery slope there’s an entrance to the within, like a door. Historically speaking Jesus, The mission – his highest priority..was to let people know there was access and then if they could be prepared to accept, be SHOWN the inner sanctum.

    Preparation was like the proverbial peeling of an onion.Much more about the intimacy with life than how to live it externally, though the analogies had to have been in that terminology as vocabulary is itself limited on this subject. The fine art of listening was key.

    Brain power, the ability to understand in that setting was enhanced by an awareness of something akin to feeling, not emotional, but inexplicably available.

    There is another simple premise. We want to be happy as individuals but fail to tie the element of simplicity to that basic wish as we fail to see the life connection within we each have.

    Summarizing, we all share a very large element that gives us presence on this stage. Most share the desire to be happy and each of us has access to that specific knowing. The question then becomes is it the labels, the credentials, and the rationialization of thinking or believing we know God that accurately enable us to discover our answer..or is there a component missing that our complication makes us overlook?

    The complication which has been handed down by our upline is a breeding ground for church founders. Missing component ethereally mysteriously vanished. Repackaged, ‘sold’ and mass produced. Believe it or not that process is easier (path of least resistence) than staying on point..you know, the one about the camel and the eye of the needle.

    Are we gonna read, believe, hypothesize and debate our way thru this human dilemma guided by innaccurate assumptions of an invisible God or can we differentiate a simple possibility from the complicated one? Maybe one where vocabulary takes a backseat to connecting within ourselves allowing each to have an accurate vantage point… being careful not to say or mean ‘correct’ vantage point.

    There is a silence that exceeds our noise. And you don’t need to be deserving to be aware of it, nor neccessarily have to believe in it!

  • 327. bert10  |  February 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    325. T.O.T3n1

    Neither do I hold your belief against you..I know that God treat each one of us according to how best we can receive things. The amount of truth that God gives to each of us is exactly how Isaiah said it would be…a little here and a little there, precepts upon precepts etc. I only mentioned the vision of Stephen and that of David to show that the Father and the Son are two beings. Yet it does not stop them from being ONE neither does it stop us from Abiding in them and they in us.It is a bit confusing as Jesus at times can speak and act as though He were the Father.

    Viewing the beliefs of others and religions from outside is not the best way to view things. It leads to forming judgments based on our own sense of good and evil..

    bert10

  • 328. Anonymous  |  February 18, 2012 at 11:08 am

    my birthdays on May 12 and i had my first communion at sacred heart catholic church in Littlefield Texas also on may 12 just saying

  • 329. Ubi Dubium  |  February 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    Anonymous, I don’t see what that has to do with the topic here. Plus, if you got any group of about 365 catholics together, and asked them if their first communion was on their birthday, you would expect that on average one of them would say yes. It’s not a miracle or in any way significant, it’s just probability.

    In fact, considering the number of major life events that people have that they don’t get to set the date for (siblings birthdays, funerals, graduations, things like your first communion) it’s not unusual at all to find somebody for whom one of those events fell on their birthday. There’s nothing impressive about such a coincidence.

  • 330. Chris Firestine  |  February 19, 2012 at 3:28 am

    Ur an absolute genius and a brave person. Good for you.

  • 331. Anonymous  |  February 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Anonymous…do not let those who are of this world take it away from you…Synchronicity is the miracle. Israel in Egypt saw the miracles as act of nature…which they were. But their timing was perfect and all of it was required in order to free Israel. The miracle is that when God created this world…He had organized it so that those things would happen at the right time and place to free Israel. There is no such things…as accidents, happenstances, luck of the draw or being in the wrong place at the wrong time..from the point of view of God. From God’s point of view…everyone and everything is exactly at the right time and right place. Everything is right on Schedule

    bert10

  • 332. cag  |  February 20, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    bert10, please present some evidence that your absentee slum landlord of a god actually exists. And then show how being a believer is a benefit for humanity. Show how those who pray have a better outcome than those who do not. Document the advantage of throwing your money away supporting clergy rather than using the money for other purposes. Enlighten us as to why an omnipotent god would need humans to intercede for it. Explain for us why your god is so shy that only fictional characters in a book of fiction have ever interacted with it. Educate us on the difference between an invisible being and a non existent being. Elucidate us on how you or anyone knows the “will” of a silent, invisible being.

  • 333. bert10  |  February 21, 2012 at 4:49 am

    A Spiritual GOD gives Spiritual proof. Manifestation of Nature and healing and prophecies can be explained away. It is true though, there are no atheist in foxholes. There were many hardened Atheists were heard to pray to God in their foxholes.

    Because of “free agency” it was decreed in heaven that works of Salvation must be done by men in the flesh and on the Earth. Even Jesus could not do it from heaven…He had to come down to the earth and do it in the flesh.

    It did not end well for Madalyn Murray O’hair her son and grand daughter Robin who had fought against GOD and did great harm by removing God from Schools. They were cut down, by some of their own. William Murray also her son but A Christian who has broken away from that family was kept safe. Because Madalyn complete control over her son and Robin (Williams’ daughter) he was powerless to free his brother and daughter from Madalyn. When repentance is not forthcoming…and because of great evils…God gives over to Satan all those who throughout their lives reject the Holy Ghost call to repentance.

    bert10

  • 334. Ubi Dubium  |  February 21, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Bollocks.

    A Spiritual GOD gives Spiritual proof

    Sounds like a poor excuse for not having any real evidence. How is that different from “a non-existent god gives non-existent proof”?

    It is true though, there are no atheist in foxholes. There were many hardened Atheists were heard to pray to God in their foxholes.

    You are either lying or deeply misinformed. There are tons of atheists in foxholes, and we even joke that atheists dig better foxholes because they have more to lose. You are using the tired old “well, when something bad happens you’ll come back to religion” argument. I’ve read many many ex-timonies of people leaving religion precisely because god did NOT show up as promised in times of stress.

    Because of “free agency” it was decreed in heaven that works of Salvation must be done by men in the flesh and on the Earth.

    It says this in your bible where? Your apologists just made this up as an excuse for a god who never actually does anything.

    It did not end well for Madalyn Murray O’hair…

    Ah, out of arguments now and resorting to personal attacks on one particular atheist, as if her life was typical of the lives of atheists in general. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes people are jerks. Crap happens to the religious and non-religious alike. That’s hardly evidence for the workings of a god or a devil.

    If that kind of stuff is the best defense your god has got, even if he did exist I wouldn’t worship such a being. Somebody all-powerful and all-knowing should be a better communicator than that.

  • 335. bert10  |  February 21, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    It is the way of things. I am not lying nor miss-informed. I have been teaching for a long time on Christian boards. Even ten years ago I have spoken of the many problems of the financial system. The problems that Florida would have because of the Terry Schiavo thing and of the many tornadoes. I going to say a few things to you guys and there is not one thing that you can guys can say or do to change it.

    That things are going to continue to get worse regardless of men and their science.. That the forces of nature are going to be unleashed and more world wide disasters are on the horizon. Because of these forces…famines, plagues and wars are also coming to our lands. The key is frequency and intensity. In other words the pauses between great disasters are getting shorter.

    As for where I am getting stuff…it is written in the prophets they shall all be taught of GOD, therefore everyone that has heard and learned of the Father cometh to me. – Jesus. Also the day is coming
    that they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying know the Lord for all shall know Him from the least to the greatest.

    As for the world financial system that is upholding Babylon..it will eventually come crashing down never to rise again. Then Babylon will become powerless and will not be able to oppose the establishing of the kingdom of God. Besides by then, everyone will have just about enough of problems created by greed.

    bert10

  • 336. Alban  |  February 21, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    Ubi, if I remember my latin correctly your handle suggests literally doubt everywhere. There is alot of pain and suffering no doubt in our world and all of that began with bad decisions we as a race and we as individuals have made with a make believe yardstick of good and evil judging the results. Blanketing or writing off all the possibilities of what life could offer is not mathematically realistic.

    I agree that belief as it has been handed down thru the centuries has its limitations, but it has provided hope in a world where many results of our actions have been catastrophic. The bigger concern is where that belief guided by religion takes us. It delays what may be fulfilling until after death.

    Relativity in a world where many wonder if there is any kind of absolute has only a fixed number of outcomes that our imagination can detect. The only real absolutes being birth, life and death. It seems tragic to me that so many people “live” ( more like accept suffering) for a better afterlife or in some cases live to debunk what almost is like bad sci-fi.

    Labels unfortunately help in sustaining relativity for the pictures they paint. Take the words God and Savior…so many connotations and in many places and in many times so much tragedy and death. What could be the difference for people if we for instance changed those words into Good and Savor. If we could learn to savor the good ( as opposed to differentiating the good from the bad) we may create different options for each of us and our race, still in the world of relativity yet keeping an eye out for what is truly good.

    Now that ‘eye’ becomes significant. That awareness brings appreciation and an element of investigatory prowess that can elevate the quality of and the respect for life. God or not. Common sense suggests that appreciation and respect go hand in hand with dignity. What then can utilize that eye?

    Develope more appreciation…which may be our greatest asset and slowly the relativity of good and bad appear to be more of an inlay on life that we put there like a covering on a sandbox. The sandbox may have the purest sand and indestructible beautiful wooden borders but we just make our own sand and use material that we think resembles that wood using the cover as a foundation. And trembling it has become!

    If it were made possible to penetrate this cover would it be divinely conceived or would it be the choice of the individual? Relativity on one hand says divine and impossible; on the other, no god and impossible…agreement only on the impossible.

    So what is possible will not begin with words but more likely a single eye to look for and sense what may be the greatest of all possibilities. We know it’s not on top of the Himalayas, in our various forms of governing, entertainment, technological advancement nor so far in our belief structure. (one way or the other)

    Most of the world’s major religions with a historical central figure report that that figure plainly indicated and revealed there is an abundance of ‘good’ accessible to the single eye within each person. That is the most significant common denominator of all the writings.

    Yes mathmatically it seems a longshot. Fear, doubt and arrogance obscure our single vision. Opinions born of relativity in all its forms cannot subtract that possibility.

    Symbollically one apple did not delete the other option. God or not, our selection did not come from gratitude or a single eye.

  • 337. Ubi Dubium  |  February 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Alban, I’m not sure I understood the gist of what you are saying. My “Ubi Dubium” handle is the beginning of the phrase “Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas”, which means, “where there is doubt, there is freedom”.

    Doubting is not the same as writing off the possibilities that life has to offer. Being allowed to doubt is crucially important, to prevent ancient dogmas and superstitions from controlling one’s life. We should embrace all this life has to offer, because it’s the only one that we are certain to have.

    You indicated that “belief provides hope”. I don’t think that the hope provided by belief is enough to offset the harm done throughout history by belief in supernatural powers, and blind obedience to the people who claim to speak for them.

    Being a skeptic does not mean never believing anything. But it does mean believing only those things for which there is sufficient evidence, and rejecting or withholding belief in those things for which evidence is lacking. It means evaluating the probability of something being possible, and comparing that to the weight of evidence presented. Extraordinary claims require extrordinary evidence. Or, as Tim Minchin so wisely says, “If you open your mind too far, your brain will fall out”.

  • 338. T.O.T3n1  |  February 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I have a question to the non believers. Since you do not believe in God, what or how do you think we, life, began? Im just curious. Because us believers belive in the creation that came as Gods love for us.

  • 339. T.O.T3n1  |  February 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Bert10″When repentance is not forthcoming…and because of great evils…God gives over to Satan all those who throughout their lives reject the Holy Ghost call to repentance.”

    I dont think that is entirely true. Many people(including myself) have given up on God and did not want to repent and turned our backs only to be brought back into Gods Light. We are here because of His love for us and is merciful towards all souls. If at the very end of their lives they decide not to repent then its possible they will forever be lost and fall from grace. Im just giving my own opinion and facts about what I have seen and done.

  • 340. Ubi Dubium  |  February 22, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Bert,
    Wow are you a big one for subject-changing when confronted!

    You claimed specifically there are no atheists in foxholes. I said that you were lying or misinformed about that, because there certainly are atheists in foxholes. My spouse is an army veteran, has spent time in foxholes, and is an atheist. Pat Tillman, who left the NFL to serve in Afghanistan and was killed there, was an atheist. There is a whole association for atheists in the military, and they are building a list of “atheists in foxholes” online: http://militaryatheists.org/expaif.html.

    So now you know. If you continue to claim there are “no atheists in foxholes”, then you will certainly be lying. You say you have been teaching for a long time. That doesn’t count for anything if you are teaching things that are not true.

    I have no idea why you think Terri Schiavo or tornadoes in Florida have anything to do with atheists in the military. You can’t get out of having made an incorrect statement by changing the subject, making dire predictions or quoting the Big Book of Hebrew Mythology at us.

    If you make a specific claim, be prepared to back it up. If you can’t, then don’t make the claim in the first place.

  • 341. Ubi Dubium  |  February 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    T.O.

    I have a question to the non believers. Since you do not believe in God, what or how do you think we, life, began? Im just curious. Because us believers belive in the creation that came as Gods love for us.

    I have several comments about this question.

    First, I don’t think you are actually curious. If you were, you could go read a science book. (I could recommend a few. There’s a lot of really interesting research on this out there.) I think you are just looking for an opportunity to try out some more apologetics.

    Second, questions of fact are best answered by studying the available evidence and following it to rational conclusions, not by reading the writings of bronze age goatherders. (Unless the question is about the way goats were herded in the bronze age; I expect they’d have known quite a lot about that.)

    Third, “we don’t have all the answers yet” does NOT equal “goddidit”. We have solved quite a few mysteries of the universe, and every time the answer has turned out to be “not magic” and “not gods”. Thunder does not come from Thor, Helios does not drive the sun across the sky, Chak does not make it rain, Pele does not make volcanos erupt and John Frum does not send the cargo from over the sea. All these things turn out to have non-supernatural causes. As we find out more of the answers about our origins, I have no reason to expect that the answer will be “It was Yahweh the ancient Palestinian war god who caused it”. That’s just as likely as finding out the universe was caused by Ptah of the ancient Egyptians, Quetzelcoatl of the Aztecs, Ahura Mazda of Persia, or Pikkiwokki of New Guinea.

  • 342. T.O.T3n1  |  February 23, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Hi Ubi. Ive heard 2 different theories, thats why I ask. Ive heard that we came from primordial ooze then I heard we came from star dust. I know you know what I believe, but I was just curious as to what yall believe. I was not going to say God did this and God did that. Im just trying to get and understanding. Sorry you thought I was going to preach to everyone here.

  • 343. T.O.T3n1  |  February 23, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Also, what mysteries have been solved? Or you can just give me the websites so I can look too. Thanks.

  • 344. Ubi Dubium  |  February 23, 2012 at 8:37 am

    T.O., Thanks, I’m glad you actually want to know. Actually, both the “primordial ooze” and the “star dust” answers are correct, because they answer different parts of the question of how we got here. i’m going to point you to Wikipedia articles, because there is a ton of information on these subjects out there, but Wikipedia usually has clear and easy-to-read summaries and is a good place to start.

    “Star dust” answers the question of “Where did the atoms that make up our planet come from?” The Big Bang produced a lot of hydrogen, but not much in the way of heavier elements, like carbon and oxygen. So where did all these heavier elements come from? It turns out that they were produced in the nuclear furnaces of stars (which make elements as heavy as iron), and in supernova explosions, which make heavier elements and also spread those atoms back into the universe where they could be recycled into planets around new stars and eventually, us. So when I look at the gold ring I am wearing, I know that the gold atoms in it were produced in a supernova, billions of years ago. How cool is that?

    We understand this process really well, and you can read the Wikipedia articles on Stellar Nucleosynthesis and Stellar Evolution for details.

    For “primordial ooze”, we are really looking at two questions. The first is “How did the first simple life form originate?” and the second is “How did that life form produce all the amazing variety of life we see around us today?”

    The answer to the second question is very well understood: Natural Selection turns out to be a powerful mechanism for change over time, and is the basis for our modern understading of biology. See the Wikipedia article on “Natural Selection” for a good explanation of how this works.

    The question of “how did the first life form originate?” is a really interesting question. We don’t have a definite answer yet, and it’s tricky finding out because the first life forms would have been tiny proto-cells, which don’t fossilize. But enormous amounts of research are being done in this area, and we’ve learned a lot. See the Wikipedia article on “Abiogenesis” for a summary of what we know so far.

    Some people might say, “But what it the first life was brought here from space by a comet, instead of developing here?” That is possible, but doesn’t really answer the question of how that life emerged, it just pushes the origin to a different time and place. The question still remains open..

    We’ve solved tons of other mysteries, everything from “why is the sky blue?” to “how do magnets work?” or “what causes the tides?” But every answer we find opens up new questions to investigate. Science is very cool.

  • 345. T.O.T3n1  |  February 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Science is very cool. I love the stars and everything in the universe. Its amazing to see whats out there. Its also amazing on the shear size of it all. Thanks for the info. I will be looking at all of it just because its so very interesting. Thanks.

  • 346. bert10  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:03 am

    339. T.O.T3n1

    Here is how it works…they who fall from the Gospel of Grace after tasting the things of the Holy Ghost, it is impossible for them to be re-newed unto repentance. See Hebrews chapter 6 V. 4-6. Because it is impossible to be renewed unto repentance, remission is not given.

    They who do not repent when they die…are not called perdtion they can still be brought to repentance in the other world…Only they who commit the sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven in this world nor in the world to come.

    Those who have become perdition in this world and those who are unjust shall resurrect. Judgment day those who are perdition are sent into the outer darkness…(Enoch, Jesus, Jude) everyone else shall inherit one of the many mansions that are in the house of the Father.

    The power of the Holy Ghost has the ability to bring all men to repentance if they have not tasted of the Light and then having chosen darkness over light. – that is how it works…read it for yourself in Revelation..Death and hell are made empty of their captives before they are thrown into the Lake of fire and brimstone. At judgment day all we are left with is the kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdoms of light and only they who overcome the world shall be invited to live with the Father.

    bert10

  • 347. bert10  |  February 25, 2012 at 12:08 am

    340. Ubi Dubium I.e Ref. Atheist in foxholes,

    Can your experts dispute those who were at the battle of the bulge?
    Do we want to turn this into a battle of experts..and what people said that always lead to nowhere? What more can I say concerning this? You have your opinions and your experiences and I have mine and I do not think either of us will change our mind.

    bert10

  • 348. cag  |  February 25, 2012 at 1:10 am

    bert10, quoting the bible is utterly, totally, unequivocally, hopelessly, incontrovertibly, ridiculously unconvincing. Using fiction to justify anything is an exercise in futility. There have been thousands of gods believed in as fervently or even more so as you believe in yours. There have been human sacrifices to gods. Tezcatlipoca is a prime example. All gods are false. Your imaginary friend has no power, no hell or heaven. If quoting the bible is all you have then you have nothing.

  • 349. Ubi Dubium  |  February 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    bert10,
    What does the Battle of the Bulge have to do with it? Whether there are currenlty atheists in foxholes is a statement about fact, not opinion. You made this claim “There are no atheists in foxholes”. A single example of an atheist in a foxhole would prove this wrong. I then gave you over 200 examples of atheists in foxholes. Your statement is incorrect. Simple logic. No experts need be consulted here.

    You can have your own opinions, but you don’t get to have your own facts. Sorry.

  • 350. Anonymous  |  February 25, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I take exception to this! I have been a member of this church for over two years now. I have a night job where I work hours where I can not attend the church. They have always helped my family and myself. With rent, power payments or anything else. They are golden with us!

  • 351. cag  |  February 26, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Anon #350, what are you writing about? Exception to what?

    For your information, the quality or quantity of help is in no way an indication of the trueness of the church’s message. Lies proffered in flowery prose are still lies. Every god, no exceptions, has a human origin, be they Aztec, Roman, Norse, Greek, Hindu, christian or any of the myriad others. Every one of the thousands of gods had or have believers. Having believers does not grant existence. Your god doesn’t exist. Your church is a tribute to ignorance and delusion.

  • 352. bert10  |  February 26, 2012 at 2:12 am

    348. cag | February 25, 2012 at 1:10 am bert10, quoting the bible is utterly, totally, unequivocally, hopelessly, incontrovertibly, ridiculously unconvincing. Using fiction to justify anything is an exercise in futility. etc.

    I say as Jesus would say “we shall see.”

    bert10

  • 353. cag  |  February 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    bert10, so you really believe that the earth was created before the sun? You believe the other absurdities like the flood, talking snakes, a rib turning into a woman and so on ad nauseam.
    Some of us have already seen and found that there is nothing there.

    Please provide evidence that there actually was a Jesus before providing evidence of any saying attributed to same.

    From one of my comments in “Does public prayer go against the Bible:

    not only do I call creation a lie, the Genesis story absolute garbage, I also call Jesus a fabrication. When it is pointed out to apologists that there is no contemporary mention of Jesus, only decades after the so called crucifixion the stock reply is that the people did not write their history down, it was all oral.

    The Dead Sea Scrolls do not mention Jesus, yet they are written. So either there was no Jesus at the time of writing or there never was a Jesus. The point of this is that biblical history was written down before the time of Jesus which gives the lie to strictly oral history or if the DSS were written after 33CE, the Jesus myth had not been fabricated at that time.

  • 354. bert10  |  February 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    353. cag | February 26, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I am a believer and a believer’s faith is..’is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ – If you want to claim Lizards, Apes and monkeys as your ancestors..go right ahead. Sons of God are not descendants from Apes, Monkeys, Lizards and fish. The are created in the image of Elohim. As for the order that this Solar system was created…the scientists who can’t even cure the common cold are totally in the dark…their teachings are on shifting sands…and will change as often as required to stay ahead of the curve and to appear wise. Go ahead follow these if that is your wish.

    bert10

  • 355. cag  |  February 27, 2012 at 2:25 am

    bert10 #354, believe all you want, I prefer knowledge. Your ignorant screed tells me all I need to know about your total lack of reasoning. So you really believe the creation myth. The sun is over 330,000 times as massive as the earth. No way can the earth have formed first. Your Elohim is a figment of a fevered mind, no more real than Superman. Keep your delusions, I’ll take facts. The bible is only believable to the ignorant. Ignorance can be cured, are you up to the task?

  • 356. Ubi Dubium  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Yes, Bert, “evidence of things not seen” is the same as “evidence of having no evidence”. You are telling people to shut down their brains, and just believe. But if you do that, you can find yourself believing in any old rubbish. How do you sort out what to believe and what not to believe? Or do you just believe anything some religious figure tells you to? How do you decide which preacher is telling the truth, or which ancient book to believe? At some point you have to turn your brain back on, unless you are just following exactly what you were taught as a child.

    You claim that you are made in the image of “Elohim”. You know that’s a plural word, right? So you are made in the image of many gods?

    As for me, the more I learn about the great apes, the more proud I am to call them our cousins. (And don’t trot out that ‘”can’t cure the common cold” stuff. The “common cold” is actually more than 150 different viruses, not just one disease. And science has eradicated smallpox! Polio is almost eradicated as well. If faith is so great, how come it has never managed to wipe out a disease?)

    The scientists that you claim are “totally in the dark” have also done things like understand the structure of matter sufficiently to be able to invent the computer you are reading this on. Religion gave us the Dark Ages. Science gives us light bulbs. I know which one I prefer to rely on.

  • 357. Alban  |  February 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    This site is a great resource for learning. Cag – I did not realize the DSS do not mention Jesus! They do however bring up referances to a “knowledge” that is the source of all wisdom describing it in parable like fashion thus differentiating it from our normal ability to comprehend or for that matter, perceive.

    If you never read Elaine Pagel’s book, The Gnostic Gospels – it’s a great short read that analyzes over many years the writings discovered at Nag Hammadi. Though she admittingly is a Christian ‘believer’ she provides a balanced analysis reporting the fallacies of the then early catholic church with the politics and the murders and the book burning etc.

    What I find interesting is again references to a secret ‘knowledge’ that is described by each of the authors although time dating research indicates the earliest of these writngs were probably written @100 AD.

    It would seem as though there is some historical chain of mention of a perception that looks on the surface to be incomprehensible yet is somehow accessible. From what I gather in that book and reading the actual writings this access is what the orthodox christians at the time did not want any referance made to. Instead the controlling faction of the orthodox saw that access as undermining the blind faith that would be neccessary to control the masses masked in the terminology of “unifying” the church.

    So yes whether Jesus existed or not, this ‘access’ has been around from at least the days of the old testament but somehow in the purported time period of Jesus that access became relatively widespread. It was the violent concerted removal of this particular phenomenon that brought about our present day continuance of the ‘mystery of faith’.

    So in the event of a person like Jesus showing people within themselves something which has no beginning and no end there would still be skeptics who could either hypothesize the lunacy of such a possibility or check it out. Of course in the early days of Christianity that potential discovery was dangerous. Neither the roman empire, the pharicees or the orthodox christians wanted anything to do with such heretics.

    Even from a skeptical viewpoint one can see the parallel. 2 types of knowledge. One faith based – the winner in history to this point and another, that cannot be placed in any box of labeling or understanding, but one that historically, documentedly threatened the authority of that time…unfortunately leaving little trace of what it was or what that ‘knowledge’ was thought to be other than undermining.

    Since at least the DSS and “the gnostic gospels” survived the editing and the destruction there is at least an indication of a possibilty for something which exists outside of the constraint of time and space.

    Objectively considering one single acorn containing hunreds of forests you’d have to live for hundreds of years to either prove or disprove that claim. Likewise if you wanted to prove or disprove that the ocean exists in every drop you would have to figure a way to turn yourself inside out to witness that phenomena…if it were really true.

    The riddle then is what can exist within time and space that is actually bigger and how could that answer be derived?

    Apparently some along the way have found out, enjoyed the ongoing answers in their realization and continue to raise the question so others can discover for themselves. Answers and questions are like the chicken and the egg when it comes to this domain.

    Some answers actually bring up questions and their answers that you had never considered!

  • 358. Alban  |  February 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Forgot to check the follow-up box…might as well add…so what is older as well as bigger within our time/space continuum…how can we find the ‘eye’ to see that? I love the fact it makes no sense to the rational mind. It is like a puzzle that has a solution that is so obvious, you could never see it unless you ‘learned’ how to use a different perception that we all forget about or overlook because of our complex confusion and its reasoning. To me and I have it too, is our foundational aspect of arrogance. It is in our very fabric but it can be minimized.

    The journey which can accept and enjoy the goal all the way thru is worthy in my perspective anyway, of that sacrafice – the laying down of any and all complexity to reach what is subtley simple…it doesn’t stay subtle for long, much less invisible. It is humble and it is humbling. And in its perception and continuing acceptence it is beautiful and gratifying beyond words.

    I’m sure that the best skeptics now or in the future finding any record of this description could write if off as imaginary and they would not be wrong!! That is because the entire subject is beyond the scope of right and wrong. Within the realm of right and wrong the educated skeptic always holds a higher ground.

    In the world of reason there are instruments to measure almost everything. The ability to go outside that box does not make sense in that world. There is no measuring stick. Inside the world of reason however the presence of an invisible or visible God makes little sense save for some incredible miracles, that to an objective person perhaps balance out seemingly tragic events. At best, a relative god has good days and bad days.

    Just maybe the time is here that the playing field is beginning to take on new immeasurable dimensions. Well, not really new – just forgotten about for a long, long time. And the kind of immeasurable that makes seeing, believing.

  • 359. T.O.T3n1  |  February 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    @Cag: The D.S.S do in fact mention the Messiah, but not the name Jesus. People will say what they want about it I guess. Yes I belive in God and have even thought that maybe the Big Bang Theory is Gods plan, but that just my opinion. What do us people know?
    @Bert10: Uh, I just read Heb Chap. 4 Ver.4-6 and what you wrote has nothing to do with this text in the Bible. Hebrews Chap.4 Ver. 1-12 is about the Sabbath Day, not about entering Heaven if you were not a believer in the Holy Ghost. Your Bible differs from mine I guess, hmmm? There is only 1 unforgivable sin Bert10, do you know what that is?
    @Ubi: As for Elihom, yes, thats their belief. That they believe in multiple gods and they themself will become a god.

    My point here is this is why I dont believe in everything the Bible teaches us. Too many variations. And how did we become a population if we came from a single man and woman? Doesnt the Bible state that incest is forbidden? I think it does.

  • 360. bert10  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    356. Ubi Dubium | February 27, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Yes, Bert, “evidence of things not seen” is the same as “evidence of having no evidence”. etc.

    The Word ‘Elohim’ contains the singular the plural and the masculine and feminine. Men and woman are created in the image of their parents. The first line of Genesis should be ‘in the Beginning the Gods created the Heaven and the earth.’ However, men confused ‘Oneness’ to mean singular. God is not just a Name that He gave us to use,,,it is also a Title and a priesthood office.

    All inspiration comes from God after the Scientists have used faith to make it happen. For example the qualities of Edison could have been applied in Religion and He would have been great in it. We can use faith to bring into existence machinery, and things of no spiritual value like even money or we can use faith to bring the power of God our lives.

    Einstein-
    The man who gave us relativity never doubted the existence of God. He saw the intelligence and hand of God in the universe. Anyone who fulfills the law is rewarded by that law..and everyone who fails that law will be judged and condemned by it. That is how we can say what will happen to people and nations simply by which laws they obey and which they disobey.

    Greater tribulations are coming and there isn’t anything you can do about it. And Science will fail. Only those who have strong faith will be able to overcome when disasters strike at them.

    bert10

  • 361. bert10  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    355. cag | February 27, 2012 at 2:25 am
    bert10 #354, believe all you want, I prefer knowledge. Your ignorant screed tells me all I need to know about your total lack of reasoning. So you really believe the creation myth.

    The Biblical creation is not a myth it is given on a level that all can begin to comprehend it. It also offer stability. I have lost count how often the Scholars had to reverse themselves with each ‘new’ discovery. The people who follow science and made it their God are like leaves and chaff in the wind. And soon they will be gone. I do not have to change my thinking with the prevailing winds like the world does. If this amuses them so be it.

    What is truth, is manifested in reality. And because of the great wickedness of this people…they shall suffer even more than past civilizations and there is nothing you or the Christians can do about it. False beliefs is to be powerless and be subjected to wrath. That is how You Will know that I am telling you the truth. No matter what the scientists do, the government etc. Things will progressively continue to increase in intensity and frequency. Until there are few men left.

    bert10

  • 362. bert10  |  February 27, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    355. Cag part 2

    Who ever said that this earth is from this Solar system? Would’nt it be a hoot if God said that this earth is constructed from remains of other worlds? It would throw every theory and doctrines on evolution out of whack.

    bert10

    355. cag | February 27, 2012 at 2:25 am

    bert10 #354, believe all you want, I prefer knowledge. Your ignorant screed tells me all I need to know about your total lack of reasoning. So you really believe the creation myth. The sun is over 330,000 times as massive as the earth. No way can the earth have formed first. Your Elohim is a figment of a fevered mind, no more real than Superman. Keep your delusions, I’ll take facts. The bible is only believable to the ignorant. Ignorance can be cured, are you up to the task?

  • 363. bert10  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    359. T.O.T3n1 | February 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    The big Bang Theory does not explain why the Universe keeps growing as well as expanding and an ever increasing rate of speed. Where is all the new matter coming from in order to make new constellations, galaxies and solar systems?

    The Sin against the Holy Ghost is doing something that Keep us from being able to be renewed unto repentance by the power of the Holy Ghost. Hebrews 6:4-6. Men must have tasted of the things of the Light and then choose darkness over it. There is no forgiveness of sins without repentance. And if men put themselves beyond repentance they cannot be forgiven. That is the sin against the Holy Ghost which is not forgiven in this world nor in the world to come – Jesus.

    Jesus also said concerning salt and those who are salted…if the salt loses its savor what is there left to salt them?

    Hebrews chapter 6 verses 1-2 deals with the gospel of repentance.
    Hebrews chapter 6 verses 4-6 deals with the gospel of perfection. (Way of perfection)

    bert10

    @Cag: The D.S.S do in fact mention the Messiah, but not the name Jesus. People will say what they want about it I guess. Yes I belive in God and have even thought that maybe the Big Bang Theory is Gods plan, but that just my opinion. What do us people know? etc.

  • 364. cag  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    bert10 #360, which Einstein were you talking about?

    It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. (Albert Einstein, 1954, The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press)

    Suggestion – don’t quote apologetics sites without cross checking with sane sites.

    Who ever said that this earth is from this Solar system?

    Your mind must be made of rubber, how else can you contort it in such a twisted way.

  • 365. T.O.T3n1  |  February 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    @Bert10: There is matter all over the universe. Lets see for example; Stars that explode spread matter that in turn collides with other mattter (meteors, comets, etc) So where would it go? It would expand our known universe simply making it bigger. It seems like this would/could happen. We all know the universe to be a violent place where such things happen.

  • 366. bert10  |  February 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    365. T.O.T3n1 | February 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Black holes swallow all that stuff up. The universe is a living thing and it breathes in and breathes out just like we do. Black holes are not really black they just appear black to our senses.

    bert10

  • 367. T.O.T3n1  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:01 am

    @Bert: Yes, I forgot about the blackholes. Although they do exsist there are far more less than the stars of the sky. But hell, I aint no astronaut or a rocket scientist, lol.

  • 368. Ubi Dubium  |  February 28, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Bert, don’t talk about astronomy unless you actually know something about astromony. Back in college, when I was grading astronomy papers for the professors, I would have marked all your answers wrong.

    Black holes trap the matter that comes near enough to be trapped in their gravitational field. We call them “black,” because the escape velocity within the event horizon is greater than lightspeed, so not even light can shine out from them. They are also often surrounded with an accretion disc of matter outside the event horizon that is being pulled in, and that matter can radiate very strongly. Black holes are not cosmic vaccuums that go around looking for and sucking up all the available loose matter out there. Massive clouds of extra stuff are hanging around our galaxy. We call them nebulas.

    The big bang theory does indeed explain why the universe continues to expand. Look it up. And new matter/energy isn’t appearing out of nowhere, that’s not how it works. Matter is getting recycled from old exploded stars into new star systems within galaxies. The expansion of the universe means that the galaxies are also getting farther apart.

    No evidence that the universe “breathes”, no evidence that it’s living. You made that up because it sounds nice. Doesn’t make it true.

  • 369. Ubi Dubium  |  February 28, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Oh, and salt? Bert, have you ever noticed how salt doesn’t have an expiration date? It doesn’t spoil, and it does not lose it’s flavor. That’s because it’s sodium chloride, a mineral.

    You’ll never find salt that isn’t salty. That’s a mistake, that is, and your bible is loaded with them. Bats aren’t birds either, locusts don’t have four legs, and pi isn’t three. There’s no “firmament” in the sky either, we’ve checked.

    “Sin” is a scam. Your preachers invent a problem, then sell you the solution. They make a bunch of impossible rules that no one can actually follow, then tell people they are bad and inadequate for failing to follow them, and that the answer is to give up all control of their lives (and a great deal of their money) to the preachers. But that never actually fixes the “problem” so the preachers tell people that it’s because they are not devoted and obedient enough. The only answer is to try harder, to obey without question, and it’s your own fault if you still don’t measure up to their impossible standard. Better feel guilty, pray more, and give them still more money. Because an all-powerful god really needs your money and your groveling. Right.

    Bert, please take T.O.’s advice, and stop trying to preach here. There’s no point, it’s just a waste of pixels.

  • 370. cag  |  February 28, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Ubi, if bert ever got anything right it would be because it was a typo. Ignorance can be fixed, willful ignorance is a different case.

  • 371. bert10  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:23 am

    367. T.O.T3n1 | February 28, 2012 at 12:01 am

    That is not what some scientist are saying at this time. Still, they do not know anything about God. The Universe is kept in balance for all things have their equal and opposite. Good, versus evil. hot versus cold, light versus darkness. Matter versus anti-matter and so on. We know this because God created the universe.

    bert10

    “”@Bert: Yes, I forgot about the blackholes. Although they do exsist there are far more less than the stars of the sky. But hell, I aint no astronaut or a rocket scientist, lol.”””

  • 372. bert10  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:27 am

    368. Ubi Dubium | February 28, 2012 at 12:45 am

    From where I stand the more degrees a man has the more ignorant about the Spiritual truths of GOD he is. Most of the time such people cannot be taught by them who have no degrees even though they be taught of GOD.

    bert10

    Bert, don’t talk about astronomy unless you actually know something about astromony. Back in college, when I was grading astronomy papers for the professors, I would have marked all your answers wrong.

  • 373. bert10  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:39 am

    369. Ubi Dubium | February 28, 2012 at 1:10 am

    It is true that salt (Holy Ghost) has no expiration date. The Salt that Jesus referred too, could lose its flavor if it became contaminated. (Sin)

    bert10

    Oh, and salt? Bert, have you ever noticed how salt doesn’t have an expiration date? It doesn’t spoil, and it does not lose it’s flavor. That’s because it’s sodium chloride, a mineral.

  • 374. cag  |  March 1, 2012 at 12:51 am

    bert10, where is your god? My guess is that it is in the witless protection program. The more educated the person, the more able to see the absurdity in believing in any god. How many gods have to be discredited before the absurdity of your god becomes obvious?

    With more than half of the world’s population having some form of religion, there is an imbalance in your “equal and opposite”. It is obvious that brain numbing stupidity is currently more prevalent than rational sanity.

    Paraphrasing Ubi – Bert, don’t talk about anything unless you actually know something.

  • 375. bert10  |  March 1, 2012 at 1:10 am

    374. cag | March 1, 2012 at 12:51 am

    My GOD is inside all things, around all things, above all things and below all things. There is not a particle of space which is also ‘thing’ where God is not.

    All things come from and are of God and they are kept in existence by the power of GOD. Even atheists are used by GOD to fulfill His will to His glory and God will turn all things for the good of men.

    bert10

    “”bert10, where is your god? My guess is that it is in the witless protection program. The more educated the person, the more able to see the absurdity in believing in any god. How many gods have to be discredited before the absurdity of your god becomes obvious?””

  • 376. cag  |  March 1, 2012 at 2:11 am

    bert10, so your god is in every malaria patient, every child blinded by bilharzia snails, every amputated leg, every virus and every cancer? What is wrong with your god, omnipotent and just stands by? Has your god never heard of “good samaritan” programs? Has your god not a sense of decency. Why, it’s just as if your god didn’t exist. That disgusting piece of filth that you call god is nowhere. Existence is a prerequisite to be anywhere. All you have presented is platitudes, and prevarications.
    The earth not of this solar system, where did that idiotic statement come from?
    Does your god get its jollies by watching priests bugger altar boys? Does your god get off on earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes and pandemics? Where do you get these moronic ideas? Do you pay actual money to be told these lies?

    I just walked my dog. According to you, I just picked up and threw into the trash some of your god. An appropriate place for a discredited idea.

  • 377. Ubi Dubium  |  March 1, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Bert @373

    Then salt is a pretty rotten metaphor. Better would be cumin, since it’s flavor can fade. But your Jesus obviously didn’t know how to cook, otherwise he would not have made that mistake about the mustard seed being the smallest seed. It’s not, not by a longshot, and there are plenty of other seeds available to cooks in that part of the world at the time that are much smaller, for instance, poppy seeds. (He wasn’t a farmer either, since mustard does not grow into a mighty tree, but rather an unimpressive weedy plant.)

    Still, they do not know anything about God. The Universe is kept in balance for all things have their equal and opposite. Good, versus evil. hot versus cold, light versus darkness. Matter versus anti-matter and so on. We know this because God created the universe.

    Nobody actually knows anything about “god”. They make stuff up and pretend they know things. “Good” and “evil” are ideas that we use to help us deal with the world and how we treat each other, not actual things. Cold is the absense of heat, dark is the absence of light. We only know about anti-matter because of the dedicated work of some brilliant physicists. not from any religion.

  • 378. bert10  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:28 am

    376. cag | March 1, 2012 at 2:11 am

    When will you guys ever learn to not trust in the wisdom of man. Just remember all the discoveries that keep reversing the wisdom of man. Which is just foolishness to God. Now…The reason why you are here is to experience Free choice and its consequences. Those of us who are taught of GOD know that things only happen when God permits it. It usually does not end well for atheist who fight God.

    bert10

    bert10, so your god is in every malaria patient, every child blinded by bilharzia snails, every amputated leg, every virus and every cancer? What is wrong with your god, omnipotent and just stands by? Has your god never heard of “good samaritan” programs? Has your god not a sense of decency. Why, it’s just as if your god didn’t exist. That disgusting piece of filth that you call god is nowhere. Existence is a prerequisite to be anywhere. All you have presented is platitudes, and prevarications.

  • 379. bert10  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Bert @373

    Salt was of more worth in those days and stood in symbology for many things. And it is necessary as it gives life.It was also used to season offerings. And used to rub and/or bathe new born children in it.
    The word “Salary” comes when men would be paid in salt portions. As you can begin to see the wisdom of God is foolishness with the natural mam and also God sees the reasoning of the natural man as foolishness before Him. It is designed to work this way.

    bert10.

    Then salt is a pretty rotten metaphor. Better would be cumin, since it’s flavor can fade. But your Jesus obviously didn’t know how to cook, otherwise he would not have made that mistake about the mustard seed being the smallest seed. It’s not, not by a longshot, and there are plenty of other seeds available to cooks in

  • 380. cag  |  March 3, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Bert10, you expect us to believe in a text of questionable provenance over the knowledge derived since the enlightenment? It may be OK for someone longing for the dark ages, but we have indoor plumbing now. What is written in your silly bible does not make us fearful, only sad that otherwise sane individuals would believe such obvious fiction.

    We trust that the ideas that rational people have discarded should not be resurrected without a good, rational reason. Nothing superstitious is of value to us, or is allowed to control us. My mother would spit 3 times if a black cat crossed her path – I’ve grown past that. I’m not afraid of walking under ladders or breaking mirrors. I do not throw salt over my shoulder or have lucky socks. I certainly do not put any credence in words uttered by anyone wearing a silly outfit who should be stoned to death for working on a Sunday.

    Knowledge is not stationary. That is why people are still doing research, to discover more and more. Your infantile book is static except for the twisted logic called apologetics which attempts to put a positive spin on ignorance.

    As to salt, the value of salt to someone living within a few days donkey ride of the Dead Sea would be rather minimal. To the biblical Israelites, salt would not be a valuable commodity.

    If you know so much about your imaginary god, where is the smiting for my blasphemy? In your belief system, Satan is god’s enemy, right? So Satan would want to foil god at every turn. Does it not make sense then that Satan would turn hell into a luxury spa pandering to all the pleasures that christians consider sin? Hell as envisioned by christians could only exist if Satan went along with god rather than against god. Of course both god and Satan are imaginary.

  • 381. Ubi Dubium  |  March 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    When will you guys ever learn to not trust in the wisdom of man.

    The wisdom of humans is the only kind of wisdom there is. Until there is evidence for the reality of your imaginary friend, there is no reason to trust anything supposedly inspired by it. (Even when it comes to imaginary friends, at some point you have to use your own judgment, if only to decide which of the multitude of spokesmen for whichever “one true god” you are going to believe in. Because they all say different things, so they can’t all be right)

    Humans trusting those who claim to speak for gods hads given us human sacrifice, the dark ages, the inquisition, and many many other awful things. Never has faith in the supernatural given us a new invention or a cure for a disease. No matter how many people you have pray for, say, and end to hunger, it’s not happening until somebody gets up off their knees and does something about it. All of our modern improvements to life came from people getting off their knees and using their own ingenuity to tackle questions.

    “Let’s test it to see if it really works” beats “Let’s pray about it to see what god thinks” every single time.

    It usually does not end well for atheist who fight God.

    Ah yes, threats. When they can’t produce any evidence, the faithist always pulls out threats. I’ve been an atheist for over 25 years, and haven’t been hit by a lightning bolt yet! (And if you don’t convert to Pastafarianism in time it will not end well, you will have to spend eternity with stale beer, and ugly strippers with STD’s. So obviously you’d better convert, yes? Is my threat working?)

  • 382. bert10  |  March 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    380. cag | March 3, 2012 at 2:39 am

    No, Just keep your ears and eyes and your mind open. And bit by bit over time,,your mind will become unsealed.

    bert10

    Bert10, you expect us to believe in a text of questionable provenance over the knowledge derived since the enlightenment? It may be OK for someone longing for the dark ages, but we have indoor plumbing now. What is written in your silly bible does not make us fearful, only sad that otherwise sane individuals would believe such obvious fiction.

  • 383. bert10  |  March 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    381. Ubi Dubium | March 3, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    What science and the wisdom of men has done to us is an abomination. It has separated mankind from nature, and when society ceases to work most will die due to environment exposures. They will not know where in nature to go and get medicine nor how to fend for or feed themselves.

    bert10

    When will you guys ever learn to not trust in the wisdom of man.

    The wisdom of humans is the only kind of wisdom there is. Until there is evidence for the reality of your imaginary friend, there is no reason to trust anything supposedly inspired by it. (Even when it comes to imaginary friends, at some point you have to use your own judgment, if only to decide which of the multitude of spokesmen for whichever “one true god” you are going to believe in. Because they all say different things, so they can’t all be right)

  • 384. cag  |  March 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    bert10, the open mind is the enemy of religion. You may consider me the enemy, because I am the enemy of dogma, of willfull ignorance and scam artists. With my ears I hear preachers lying to get their financial fix. With my eyes I see the opulent palaces of those who claim to be the followers of the imaginary jesus (Matthew 19:21). With my mind I wholeheartedly reject the entirety of religion. Still waiting for the monster that you revere to make a personal appearance. Can’t you put in a bad word for me and have the senile old joke call me to set up an appointment? Two thousand years of wrong is still wrong. Your god is still imaginary.

  • 385. Ubi Dubium  |  March 6, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Bert:

    Just keep your ears and eyes and your mind open. And bit by bit over time,,your mind will become unsealed.

    It would have to become unhinged to believe all the crazy stuff you’ve been saying.

    And if you don’t like that science has somehow “separated us from nature” then you can go live in a hut in the wilderness or something. I’ll keep my modern medicine, and indoor plumbing, and the internet. Whatever kind of device you are reading this on, it was brought to you through science, not religion.

  • 386. bert10  |  March 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Well that is why they called prophets fool and spiritual man mad in the old days and will do so again today. It it was in the past it will so today…only when widespread destruction comes will men repent including most of today’s atheists.

    bert10

  • 387. cag  |  March 6, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    bert10, not quite, we call fools fools and there are no spiritual individuals. As to religious prognosticators, we call them wrong. when is your petulant piss ant powerless imaginary deity going to contact me? I don’t convert for flunkies like you. You are going to have to look somewhere else to meet your quota. Don’t expect any help from that homicidal maniac that you attempt to placate. News flash – your imaginary deity has no effect on this or any other world. I know that you are serving, but I don’t drink Kool-Aid.

  • 388. bert10  |  March 8, 2012 at 1:07 am

    How long you are going to deny reality is up to you. But I am guessing that as you begin to see, societies, people and nations fall, if you have survived that long….you will begin to look for something to anchor yourself to. The only anchor that men will have to hang on that will not fail them will be God.

    God is starting to remove the anchors that people have to hang on to and the people shall see all the things that they have put their faith into, fail them one by one until there is only God left.

    bert10

  • 389. cag  |  March 8, 2012 at 2:32 am

    bert10, reality and religion are on opposite sides of the scale. Usually when anchors are used on humans the outcome is not the same as a ship using an anchor. Your ineffectual, too ashamed to show its face, useless deity who reeks of ordure and makes claims to loving humanity but can’t be arsed to make a convincing display of existence expects me to have faith? It will be a cold day in Timbuktu before I kiss the rectum of your imaginary monster. All powerful yet can’t defeat another imaginary entity, satan.

    Do you really think that I would want to spend any time with either you or your imaginary friend? Once I’m dead there is no soul to live on forever. If your god is so short of friends that it needs to have billions of worshippers in this imaginary place called heaven, why did the lying bible exaggerate lifetimes of ancients to the point of 969 years? If piss ant god wanted friends, what with his inferiority complex and demonstrated agoraphobia, why wait so long when there were so few imaginary souls in imaginary heaven but so many supposedly streaming in now?

    In your perverse, asinine belief system, does your god show itself to the “souls” in heaven or is it too ashamed to even make an appearance there? Religion is a useless anachronism for most of humanity, but a profit centre for the few. It is people like you who perpetuate the lies originally “accepted” at the point of a sword. What you may fail to realize is that I have no sin as I am not religious. You, however, have sinned and therefore you worry about going to an imaginary place called hell. You will never have peace, for your imaginary friend is capricious and arbitrarily chooses who goes where and your constant harping at us goes against the teachings of jesus (as does most of the current lifestyles) by not dusting off your sandals and being on your way. You worry, I wont.

  • 390. Ubi Dubium  |  March 9, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Bert:

    How long you are going to deny reality is up to you.

    Oh the irony of that! If we actually thought there was any reality to your god, we wouldn’t be atheists! The “reality” is that there is no evidence for the existence of any god.

    People have been making the same kinds of proclamations that you are making now for thousands of years! “Oh, it’s the end times! Civilization is going to fall! Then you’ll see! Then you’ll be sorry!” The thing is, Bert, that it doesn’t fall. The early christians thought the end would be in their lives. Europeans in the year 1000 thought that would be the end. And how about Harold Camping, who had the nerve to say he knew the exact date!

    Every time somebody has gone around doomsaying about “the end is near” it hasn’t happened. So why should we believe you now?

  • 391. bert10  |  March 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    In the past prophecy and warnings were ignored even by Israel. And men as a majority always repeat history never learning from their mistakes. I could tell you why but it would be lost on you guys. Also I have history on my side even the Roman Empire demised. And there are some great great Civilizations that have fallen in one day and until that moment came the smugness and the arrogance of the blind knew no bounds. It shall be so again today. You do not see it..but a perfect storm of disasters is set to fall even on the USA.

    bert10

  • 392. cag  |  March 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    bert10, what befalls the USA, good or bad, will be because of humans, not some imaginary being. History is full of civilizations that have fallen on bad times and disappeared. This also happened before christianity became a curse on the world. Nothing new there, no gods required. Just like the animals on earth, including man, civilizations change, some improve, some die out, but they will all die at some time to be replaced by something more suitable to the conditions at that time. The current geo-political situation is not stationary, it changes all the time – nothing new.

    I can predict the demise of all the current members of the United Nations. Of course it may take thousands of years, but we have been waiting for “the rapture” for nearly 2000 years now so what’s a few thousand years. Does that make me the messiah?

    There are those among us that do not believe in the second coming because to us there has not been a first coming. The most significant event in christianity’s history has no contemporaneous documentation, only the words of a zealot who wrote down his delusions decades later. Aesop’s fables is more believable (and interesting) than your compilation of lies and ignorance referred to as the bible.

    Humans are perfectly capable of screwing things up without gods.

  • 393. Alban  |  March 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    Cag, I agree with you. The fate of the Human Race has always been in human hands. What we are missing is the understanding of all the tools we have at our disposal. Our perspective as a race at this point does not take into account all that we posess.

    In Raiders of The Lost Ark, Jones is confronted by a large sword wielding man. The audience is led to feel the overwhelming disparity between the 2 men. Where was Indy’s sword? Then Jones pulls out the pistol and defeats the threat.

    Most of us live on face value. In that movie we first sense impending doom for Indy. When he utilizes the most efficient solution it adds to our imaginary sense of mission. We relate to him simultaneously as the hero, building our heightened sense of adventure and of course our (or humble lack of) identification with his decisive action. We laugh, relieved with the result.
    .
    Spielberg creates this extraordinary person on an extraordinary mission and we revel in it because it is the opposite for most of us in our individual lives. We think in terms of survival and a great deal of the time we are mostly-weakly reactive to circumstances we believe are out of our control. But do we ever consider our resources in terms of inner being as an alternative entrance to living AS APART from all that we have learned and been taught hence addressing life’s challenges from the outside?

    The actual science of proof for God’s existence cannot be discerned when the focus begins on the outside and remains that way. There is no vision, no sound no feeling or taste for that proof. Yet, understanding and potential corrections to the bad sci-fi now tragically witnessed can be restored utilizing the advantage of the inner primary access.

    Imagine outside and inside of a person as the only 2 realms. Not mystically or meditatively. As a race we do not consider quality of life issues from an internal entrance way (what is there vs what we speculate is or is not there). It has always? previously anyway, been from the outside. Who made that rule? (probably connected to the history writers!) We see how ill concieved and deranged that path is .

    It would seem to be worth a consideration for everyone not just those who’ve read some of the world’s oldest scriptures that if ‘the (literal) kingdom of God’ were within, then living might just be better BEGINNING in that realm. Not because it is ‘correct’ but simply because it somehow has a pure and simple feel to it…if not mainly to really enjoy life (and all its incredible potential), maybe in that enjoyment, creating better outcomes. Hence a navigational change in course, not a judgement.

    I think the potential corrections would be after the fact of course altering. The restoration of health including new limbs and the ability for the paralyzed to walk and have a great life would be the kind of potential corrections I refer to.

    Then knowing could be discerned from believing and for those doubting, a new perspective could present itself on seeing and understanding timeless facts…alot more answers than questions…sight coming from the opposite direction.

    That is what everyone has been waiting for, not Superman. Rather utilizing their own resources- for most everyone until now, untapped and not even considered.

    In all fairness to the stalwart Christians who visit this site this message this potential was twisted in the annals of history by those who sought then and seek now to control “the ignorant masses”. And our common learned history doesn’t feature the brutality in which that was accomplished.

    My guess about a quote that was misunderstood at the the time but which played into their theme of mystery- “every eye shall see” had everything to do with the world being connected thru todays rapidly advancing communications rather than a celestial circus event.

    .

  • 394. cag  |  March 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Alban, I like your analogy of Indy. The scientifically aware defeating the scientifically illiterate. Religion promotes scientific illiteracy so the analogy is perfect. Religion is 01110011 01101000 01101001 01110100 .

    The rest of the message would have been improved by the delete button.

  • 395. Alban  |  March 11, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Bittersweet Cag, but thanks.

    Science at this juncture does not go beyond the smallest microscopic evidence in the physical world. Someday that will come with better technology, I am sure. My point is that inspiration more so than scientific doggedness can cure disease. There is a universe of variables largely unknown within our own bodies, bodies that house someting else that posess an intimacy of union we have not entered as a race yet…in this age.

    We have been told and reminded again and again that it exists. Some even at this time have been shown and enjoy a much more vast and timeless universe while alive in a time and space oriented limited world. The first and most significant goal of the exercise is the acceptence and the enjoyment/gratitude of this union that we overlook (not on purpose).

    Though some would be curious about the ultimate physical end results such as miracle cures, the essence of the transition to such discoveries will come as we determine what within each of us really wants to know. Becoming whole or fulfilled is the prequisite. Christians might call this ‘salvation’ but it is much more so. That part utilizes the thinking process but is not itself – The thinking process.

    That is where the functional skeptic must find a way to unglue, desodder or debolt the 2 realities. Each are independant, but one has a much longer lifeline than the other. And that one is able to open up in a real way much like a true innocent or a child…then utilize the other in a conscious way…NOT the other way around. (that is another topic but at this point we have to go to back to first things first- that was a metastisized problem in the evolution of our race before the metaphor of ‘the garden’…so skepticism does have a long justified existence, more about perserving the race than criticism of its crutches or its reality)

    I understand this could cause an avalanche of neurons firing in that grey matter above but that separation I have described begins with a certain consideration you might call ‘thinking outside of the box’.

    So ‘first things first’ or in deference to the Christians once more, “seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all else shall be added onto it”.

  • 396. cag  |  March 11, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Alban, I think outside the religion. What you appear to be describing is what we call woo. Woo is no better than religion to us. There didn’t exist much inspiration curing the diseases of humans before some people took a scientific approach to finding a cure. Prayer had no discernible effect on disease. Lots of prayer during the black plague but it was improved sanitation not prayer that is the reason we do not have the black plague any more. Prayer also does not cure the influenza epidemics, but vaccinations, the product of science, has a much better success rate even with only a portion of the population participating.

    The universe doesn’t care about feelings. Gods don’t exist. In case the binary was too much for some to figure out here it is:
    01110011 = s
    01101000 = h
    01101001 = i
    01110100 = t

  • 397. Alban  |  March 11, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Not referring to prayer. Rather referring to perspective gained from knowing as differentiated from believing. Perception in tangible format is the key. What I communicated is about directly accessing that which has no beginning and no end. My “after the fact” response is exactly that. First things first. There is an entirely different option available to everyone other than the invisible.

    Prayer is still a good thing, but it was not at all part of the response. When you look in the mirror is the reflection of you without baggage or does it portray pain or perceived injustices that have come your way? The reason I ask is your response probably takes into account what is there… what you see.

    I do not deny the pain and the oxymorons that continue here but the question to skeptics and any others that might be interested is… Have you ever considered that the universe extends (to) within yourself?…very much different than self analysis…and much larger than our outer senses can perceive from our small window view.

    What truly prompts, motivates encourages me as a person to live and thrive? Is it just about survival? Or rationializing my union/participation with a God I cannot see?

    My perspective was and is backwards to most. If you do not have the tangible proof of what has no beginning and no end or at least that possibility to know that, why be alive? Living without that possibility would have no purpose. The mirror would still be showing me the skeptic. Completely the reverse of your skepticism.

    I have felt a parallel pain yet with maximized intensity and catastrophic contention . You know what some woo people say you are when you cannot see yourself in the mirror? Same thing anyone else would say…you’re not part of the solution but you’re not part of the problem any longer. So what is your threshold…more importantly, what is your goal, your aim? Is your skepticism about life and death, or do you just like what you see in the mirror?

    Personally I choose to be. Shakespeare would not disagree and the mirror is not full of issues.

  • 398. Ubi Dubium  |  March 11, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Yes, Alban is back with mountains of word salad and woo. Alban, you do better when you keep it short and only try to make one point at a time. Because I didn’t understand the point of anything you said above, except “believe the woo”. Which I don’t.

  • 399. cag  |  March 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Alban, living for an imaginary god must be really infantile. By that I mean that small children have imaginary friends but usually grow out of it. You just changed one imaginary friend for another. Your book of lies is disgusting, let me quote Luke 14:26.

    14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    And then there is “love thy neighbour as thyself”. So you hate yourself so you must hate your neighbour. I’m glad I don’t live next to you.

    The bible drips of love:
    Stone to death disobedient children
    Stone to death brides who “have known a man”
    Do nothing to men who “have known a woman”
    Stone to death anyone wearing mixed fibres
    Stone to death anyone working on the sabbath (like preachers?)
    And so it goes

    Keep your stones for yourself, and don’t say “that was the OT”, look up

    Matthew 5:18-19
    Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.

    Great moral value there, continuing the OT laws.
    How can you expect any thinking human adult to accept such an immoral, vile, disgusting, vomit inducing, hate filled, repulsive book as a guide to living? It is no wonder that christians are dissuaded from actually reading that awful fiction. Anyone holding up that pile of lies as worthwhile needs to reassess their beliefs.

  • 400. Alban  |  March 12, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Cag and Ubi: You are like the south end of a bad vaudville skit. In monitoring and I’m assuming running this website, you were not prepared to deal with reality and I’m not talking about the Bible!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This whole site is about you and not about convincing or healing dialogue. Alot of your hits read and want to express frustration about the disappointment of not finding what they thought they were looking for in the LDS or generally in Christianity. Why don’t you just say “look folks it’s hopeless – there’s no purpose in life, God does not exist and this whole hope you have created is a charade. That’s the long and short of it and so we’re signing off. Is it narcissism that pushes you or flat out cruelty?

    IF karma and reincarnation both exist I see you burning gospels that never made it past the editing making sure those gospels were never seen or read again, perhaps lighting people up who were supporters of theTruth those gospels illuminated. So in this life you buck the established hierarchy as well…thinking you are slaying everyone that either looks for something more or those who have a hand in killing for power and their own glory. So you buy into ignorance once more and do not gain anything but a sense of one- upsmanship. That is what is infantile.

    A wild card gets thrown in to balance out {TO HELP} what may have started as a sounding board to help people think rationally even deductively about options and you seize the opportunity to revert to sick ridiculous sadistic words and ”quotes” now instead of acts and you think you’re evolved even successful in your insults and hence platitudes.

    I am in no place to judge anyone but if I were, I’d say you didn’t progress this time. You went laterally and where you may have been a non religious light of hope with all your good intention and knowledge, you became full of self once more…where ego, I go.

    Together you’re like the Don Rickles of insult mixed with General Santa Anna of the Alamo kill everyone mentality.(He did spare the women and children) Isn’t graciousness and well formulated argument with alternative opportunity a better way to articulate and support your own skepticism? Not a good idea to stick a fork in peoples’ hope when a chance to redeem yourselves (not in the classic understood sense) or maximize the bigger picture comes your way.

    Maybe there is still a chance. You never know afterall, who could check into your website, not that that really matters. Personally, I’d like to see you be successful. Guess I should go on the record in case anyone is keeping tabs…Ha – ha..

    Tainted ‘woo’ is unnerving but you will find a way to respond. Just don’t be infantile, maybe this is your moment in the sun…?

  • 401. Ubi Dubium  |  March 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Alban,

    The owner of this website is long absent, which is why the spam does not get deleted, nor have there been any new posts in a long time. Cag and I are merely commenters from the earlier days of this site who have hung around.

    You keep running on with the flowery language and metaphors. But if something is not real, then no amount of fancy talk can make it real. I’m not interested in wasting my time on wishful thinking.

    Human beings have an over-active agency detector. Which means that when something happens we don’t understand, we are too quick to assume that the cause of it was a “who” rather than a “what”. You may not be pushing a religious dogma, but you are pushing belief in “mystical energies” that sound a lot more like a “who” than just the simple action of natural forces. I refuse to jump to the conclusion that some odd perception in the brain is caused by spirits or mystical whatevers until we have ruled out the possible normal physical causes.

    If your mystical stuff actually exists, how can we test for that? How does it affect anything in the real world? If it didn’t exist, how would the world be diffferent? How can we tell whether a person has “bad karma” or “good karma” or any karma at all, for instance? If you could go to a mystic and get the answer “oh, your karma should be 7, but it’s only 5″, and then go to a bunch more new-agey practicioners of various different types and have them all give you that same answer, that your karma should be 7 but is only 5, then I might be inclined to think you are on to something. But one guru says you have to tune your chakras with crystals, another says your chi is out of whack and you need acupuncture, and another says you need your aura manipulated. And they all want your money. This is a clear symptom indicating that they are making stuff up.

    I don’t get my purpose in life from listening to preachers. I don’t get my purpose in life from mystical woo-pushers who make stuff up. I don’t get my purpose in life from anywhere. Purpose is something you make for yourself, not something you go find or are given.

    Sorry if that “sticks a fork in your hope”. But it people are putting their hope in things that aren’t real, and depending on their invisible friends instead of their own efforts, then we need a few more forks in this world.

  • 402. cag  |  March 12, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Alban, our purpose in life is to make this world a better place to live. It is the only existence we will have. You think that a fairy tale gives life a purpose. You value lies, we value truth. There is no karma, no reincarnation so we do not worry about them. You come in here and defecate on this site with your fantasy. This is a site for those that do not believe.

    We oppose your fantasy with reality, something your bible is sadly lacking. You think that our countering your poorly conceived presupposition is somehow egotistical. You come on this site and insult us with your repudiated beliefs and expect to be treated with kid gloves.

    We do not have deference for religion. We consider religion a foolish belief. You come here to try to convince us that we should turn into fools so that you can be comforted that there are all these people who are as foolish as you. That’s not going to happen, your bankrupt beliefs have been left behind. You have not progressed beyond faith in the ridiculous.

    You come here and insult us by trying to recruit us into the most vile, ridiculous belief system ever conceived to scam humans and you think we are insulting? Thanks for that, gives me a laugh. We counter your superstition with logic. We consider you trying to convince us of the validity of your beliefs an insult to reality.

    Just like us, you are not going to heaven, or hell. Neither of those places exist. Do you really think that the Hindu gods do not exist but yours does? Some of the believers in the Hindu gods are just as fervent as you in their belief. Does that make them right? Think about that, every religion thinks it is the right one. They are all wrong, words will not change that.

    When is your cowardly god going to show itself to me? It sure has a poor record of recruiting rational humans. There is still hope for you. Throw away the mental shackles that bind you to wrong conclusions and join us in reality. You reject over 99.9% of all gods imagined by humans. What makes you think that one of those gods is not the product of human imagination?

    Superstition is for the superstitious, reality is for the thinking. Gods are not real. We are not wooed with woo.

  • 403. Alban  |  March 13, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Ubi and Cag – thank you for your heart felt and well thought out responses. I got the read on your incentive. So strike the vaudville comment. Give me some time to comment as I have some work and personal challenges that take up alot of my energy. I now understand a little more of your impetus and the pain and frustration of your impetus.

    What I am talking about is neither Bible acceptance, belief or woo. But like I said, I came in from the opposite end and found what made sense to a whole other criteria. As a race we have to at least consider possibilities that could help our disposition and even our outcome(s). That is a pretty big responsibility. You both seem up for the possibility. This isn’t about the new, it’s about the very old.

  • 404. cag  |  March 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Alban, your diaphanous views do not compute in a rational mind. If your alternate view has no relation to reality then it is of no value. Most of your ejaculations make as much sense as a Deepak Chopra spiel. We are not convinced by word salad, we do not consider unintelligible utterings to be profound.

    You may not see your screeds as woo but that, on this site, is definitely a minority position. We are not interested in if X is true, if Y exists, if Z is possible. If you have no evidence, and you don’t, then you have nothing of value to us.

    Those that are mind prisoners of superstition (religious) may be susceptible to your unbelievable ideas. You’ll have to do a million times better to just have us consider your position to be insane. If you think we are insulting, remember this is a site for non-believers. It says nothing about re-conversion. Anything outside reality will be discarded with maximum prejudice.

  • 405. bert10  |  March 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    392. cag | March 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    You do not understand, it does not need to happen. The gifts of God to those who obey Him, are peace, prosperity, health, happiness and joy.

    When the people do not obey him the opposites comes to nations. As McArthur said concerning WW II that it was the last great warning from God.

    All great civilizations in the past started great. But as soon as they began to be rich, morality went down the tube and the politicians became corrupt and God brought destruction on them. Right now the USA is the perfect image of Rome and is at the same place when Rome fell to the barbarians.

    bert10

    bert10, what befalls the USA, good or bad, will be because of humans, not some imaginary being. History is full of civilizations that have fallen on bad times and disappeared. This also happened before christianity became a curse on the world. Nothing new there, no gods required. Just like the animals on earth, including man, civilizations change, some improve, some die out, but they will all die at some time to be replaced by something more suitable to the conditions at that time. The current geo-political situation is not stationary, it changes all the time – nothing new.

  • 406. cag  |  March 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    bert10, where is this god you speak of? Is it Odin, Zeus, Ra or what? You can’t seriously suggest that I should believe in some imaginary entity that allegedly knows everything and wrote a book that is completely devoid of real knowledge? No one denies that civilizations do not last indefinitely. No gods needed.

    Next time you see your god let it know that it has lousy public relations. The user manual is full of lies and misinformation that a manufacturer should never allow to pass. The optics of sending lackeys to deal with the image problem rather than making a personal appearance is problematic, especially when the flunkeys are so pathetic. What is your god afraid of? Its own (lack of) shadow? Your imaginary friend (a little old to have imaginary friends aren’t you?), being omniscient, should be able to find me. Is it too busy doing nothing for the suffering and starving? Must be tough seeing all the pain of the sick and having the love and goodness to totally ignore them.

    There is nothing in this universe that speaks of gods, especially a god who has created this universe for humans. The vastness of our surroundings speaks not of a universe centered around humans. Your god simply does not exist. Your blatherings do not make your god real, only pathetic.

    Your problem appears to be that you have been selling god to believers. They will buy anything. Us non-believers demand value for money, something that you have not offered. We do not react positively to threats, especially empty ones. We also do not accept promises made of vapor.

    Religion, history’s most successful and harmful scam.

  • 407. ubi dubium  |  March 15, 2012 at 7:40 am

    The gifts of God to those who obey Him, are peace, prosperity, health, happiness and joy.

    Bert, your statement is obviously false. True Believers ™ do not have lower disease rates than anybody else. They don’t have a lower divorce rate. They don’t commit fewer crimes. They are victims of violence just as often. Natural disasters hit them just as often. Studies have shown that the “believers” have it no better than anybody else, not by any measurable standard. Apparently your god is asleep on the job.

    You know one place that rates very hightly on “peace, prosperity, health, happiness and joy”? Sweden. One of the least religious countries in the world. Whenever surveys are done for which places in the world are the happiest, healthiest most prosperous countries to live in, Sweden comes in at or near the top. Lack of religion hasn’t done them any harm at all.

    Making false claims about your “product” is a tactic used by sleazy salesmen and scam artists. I’m not buying any of what you are selling.

  • 408. Alban  |  March 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

    KnowingTruth and believing in Truth although sequential in that order are separately sovereign. Truth in the absence of any other label would be that which has no beginning and no end. If one could tap into that and touch it every day the benefit is unconditional joy or contentment. Prosperity, health, yes even dignity are descriptions of associated benefits…do you feel more prosperous, healthier and do you treat yourself and others better? Sure!

    Believing in Truth without literally knowing makes the descriptions of benefits the hoped for, expected results of obeyance. Believing therefore without knowing is inherently conditional. It is an add on quality of life issue that make these descriptions into physical realities. Can someone who knows Truth be lazy and get sick? Sure.

    I say there is a lot to be said for unconditional joy. Tapping in/touching it is not found in nor is it the purpose of any religion to make that connection. At best in the the most polite way it can be said, the “Salvation” that most Christians hang their hat on is an after the fact description of a one on one revelation from The Christ that was tapped into and touched everyday, not about the implications of a crucifixion and resurrection.

    The term ‘obey’ is disturbing. Slaves obey. Freeman choose. If one would want to know, the calling card might just be in the choosing. Hence someone like Shakespeare who pointed out “To be or not to be, that is the question.”

    What is written in scripture is in most instances, not first hand knowing anyway. Hence it is not able to be worn as personal knowing. What one imagines or feels in reverance as well intentioned as it may be, hearing voices, seeing Jesus, having visions etc; is not the same as turning within. And as far as I know no one in history has ever been able to do that by themselves. And no this is not mantra oriented.

    One does get the sense in knowing that the perception yields an impeccabilty, a pristine feel and an indescribable gratitude that has no reason. Simple. Then and if as race that is held close, we’d be at least more cordial to one another.

  • 409. cag  |  March 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Alban, what is this capitalized truth you write about? Things are either true, partially true or false. If your truth is based on the supernatural, then your truth is false. Eric Blair would be proud.

    Unconditional joy – why do christians pray if they have unconditional joy, they already have everything they need. Or is this unconditional joy just another buzzword that is meant to sell a ridiculous idea to the vulnerable?

    Obey is disturbing, in some cases. If I don’t obey some imaginary being, nothing happens. If you don’t obey some imaginary being, nothing happens except you worry about going to an imaginary, very hot place. How can joy come from worrying about following impossible to follow rules? Rules such as which side of the road to drive on actually are a matter of life or death.

    Scripture written decades after the fact by individuals with an agenda do not prove anything. The jesus lie was produced in such a manner. Amazing, we sort of agree on something. Betty Crocker was also created by people, but with a different agenda.

    My gratitude has reasons. I have shelter, food, people who care about me and no belief whatsoever in the mind poisoning beliefs that are the curse of a large portion of humanity.

    I’ve been immunized, religion will not poison me. Your words do give me both a laugh and “gratitude” that I do not suffer from your delusions.

  • 410. bert10  |  March 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    406. cag | March 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    “bert10, where is this god you speak of? Is it Odin, Zeus, Ra or what? You can’t seriously suggest that I should believe in some imaginary entity that allegedly knows everything and wrote a book that is completely devoid of real knowledge? No one denies that civilizations do not last indefinitely. No gods needed. ”

    Those legends that you mentioned below that survived in antiquity are the corrupted teachings of the Lost tribes of Israel as they migrated North and some settled in Europe. Odin and the gods of Valhalla are from the tribe of Dan. Those guys were warlike and a pain to Israel in their days and they continued to be a pain to Rome and then to Europe as Vikings. And also were a pain in WWI and started WWII. They have not changed.

    Where are the Gods? Gods are they who do the works of GOD as Jesus said men will do in the last days….Healing and other types of miracles, prophecies and the restoring of lost truths.

    If you do not believe in God then what do you put your trust into that will never fail you?

    bert10

  • 411. bert10  |  March 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    “”407. ubi dubium | March 15, 2012 at 7:40 am

    The gifts of God to those who obey Him, are peace, prosperity, health, happiness and joy.

    Bert, your statement is obviously false. True Believers ™ do not have lower disease rates than anybody else. They don’t have a lower divorce rate. They don’t commit fewer crimes. They are victims of violence just as often. Natural disasters hit them just as
    often. Studies have shown that the “believers” have it no better than anybody else, not by any measurable standard. Apparently your god is asleep on the job.

    Then you are not living with true believers. It is written that one must believe on the Scriptures as God had said…and not on the false doctrines of men.

    That is the difference between a man who has faith to bring down the power of God in his life and those believers who do not.

    also I have found that true believers their tests have a beginning and a middle and a ending. And this includes diseases.

    Others their diseases and the afflictions eventually drags them into the grave. and that is called being overcome by the world.

    bert10

  • 412. cag  |  March 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    bert10, why do I have to have trust in something that will never fail me? Why would I have to make something up to lean on? Just because you need a crutch for your poisoned mind does not mean that everyone does. Belief in gods is an indication of abject ignorance and wishful thinking added to the desire for power of the religious scam artists leaders. Humans have made up over 2800 gods/goddesses. None of them are real, but people still believed in them. Grow up and accept that you have been the victim of a conspiracy to enslave you emotionally. An ancient lie is still a lie, age will not mellow the lie. How unfortunate that you have your god glasses permanently attached.

    Your reply to Ubi can be summarized as “we have an excuse for that”. We are not swayed by excuses or convoluted reasoning that has no validity.

    You and Alban should compare notes (see obey above) and once compared, delete them, flush them, burn them, for they have no relevance to a scientific society.

    The best before date of your beliefs is 4005BCE. They now stink. Must be awful to have to worry about which direction you are going. I can assure you that neither exists, so you can stop worrying.

  • 413. Alban  |  March 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    The brain is the bridge to discover and understand all that has a beginning (a middle) and an ending. When turning one’s senses inside, the brain can analyze, trying to understand what has no beginning and no end. At best it can only describe what has been.. perceived. When the perceiving is NOW the connection is a sensation outside the boundry of all thought. If you are unable to still the mechanism, the inner perception with it’s sight, sound, taste and feel remains imperceivable.

    This is why the braintrust of recorded scriptural history cannot let go of the fact that what has no beginning and no end is perceivable! It takes a sincere desire to want to know, humility at its zenith and a teacher with the ability to help the student make the connection. From a control standpoint therefore the experience becomes shrouded in mystery,(it is too confrontational) debate and ultimately its impossibility.

    As a possibility for an individual it remains available throughout physical life. It’s potential benefits are simply enjoyment, but the kind of enjoyment that is so unique, so vast and timeless that it is unimagineable. On the side of enjoying it, which I do, the brain likes it but still cannot grock it.

    The implications of a significant number of our race enjoying the pursuit of this possibility are enormous especially when taking into account the possibility that this inner universe is what sustains all life. Believe me the brain and science have a great future ahead. The starting point just needs recalibration.

  • 414. cag  |  March 17, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Alban, physical life is the only life we have. Our brains depend on our physical being.

    Scriptural history is a compilation of erroneous conclusions made by ignorant minds. Conjecture is an amusing way of spending time but the conclusion has to make sense. Religious conclusions do not make sense as they require results that are nonsensical. Postulating gods is just a way of hiding ignorance.

    The reason that science is still looking for answers is that we do not know everything. It’s OK to not collectively know everything, it’s not OK to conjure up some supernatural entity to hide the ignorance. Religion answers only how the clergy will avoid doing honest work for a living.

  • 415. Alban  |  March 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Yes – yes so what are we disagreeing about now?

    Like I said I came in from the other side as a skeptic. I knew that proof of what has no beginning and no end had to be available. Religion was not to be the answer…we agree on that.

    What I am saying is that proof is available…even for the hardcore skeptic BUT you gotto play in the terms of what requisites are laid out…and that is doable for even the crustiest of skeptics. Just find some sincereity and if it is not what you want, walk away.

    Some call this age ‘The Caliuga’ – the age of the greateast darkness AND in this age the Knowledge of Freedom is given without the encumberance of previous ages (still free of charge- because we cannot pay for it). So the risk of time spent is minimal. Don’t have to be a monk or live in an ashram or go on pilgramages, be a vegetarian or any of the blockages that could challenge sincerety in the past…not to mention great distances that would have to traversed.

    The ‘Knowledge’ I refer to is pretty incredible Though it has been made very simply in an obviously non judgemental way, available to the public it blows my mind that most people seem to be uninterested. I guess at this juncture the dignity and grace of this opportunity still rise above the cloud of ignorance and it’s arrogance that appear to govern individuals and most of humanity.

    Maybe just maybe our last best hope is in the objective analysis of people who see the disparity of the various faiths and the outcomes we note tragically everyday. If there is a way to right the ship, don’t we have to accept what is the core of all of our assets? It does come down to a see and then believe scenario!

    Believing is easy. Knowing though simple, seems to assault the ego. I am a risk taker…live it everyday even in my work. Is that risk to find what you support as being impossible to find, worth 10-12 hours of your life.?…open-minded for 10-12 hours?

    Remember it is the Race itself that pulls the trigger or pushes the button that ruins every wonderful opportunity and potential incredible outcome we can have, not the ABILITY we have to make those decisions. It is all up to us. One man might ‘advertise’ persay, but we are the ones who must accept the possibility if real, of our true potential, then act on it, first by giving it a fair chance?

    That is risk at it’s zenith and it is worth a shot. Seems like one in a billion, but in this particular case I have bet eveyrthing and won! I wish everyone could be made aware of the possibility. There is no pressure but the stakes at this point to not consider, look dead on to be horrific.

    And that is only my personal take. I am naively at times I admit, an optimist…but like all of us I witness the physical reality with all the collective disappointment and tragedy. That can change but it is the individual’s responsibility to seek ye first.. not just follow along like a parrot!!!!.

  • 416. cag  |  March 18, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Alban, now I get it – you’re selling time shares. Why else the vague promises and failure to actually state your case.

  • 417. Alban  |  March 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Imagine that you had a car for several years and didn’t know it could fly (assuming you had heard or read about flying cars as some kind of phenomena, but had never seen one) One day you run into a guy who claims to know how to make the car fly. He tells you about a small button on the dash that you’ve seen, researched and made inquiries about. After awhile you just ignore the little thing. You pushed it in a hundred times and nothing happens.

    This car can’t fly, no car can fly. It’s all a bunch of lies-you think to yourself. Then you run into this same guy again and explain your dilemma which you’ve minimized anway as fantasy. You ask him for his help. He walks you to your car, and has you pull the button out toward you. You had never thought of that. OMG – the car does fly.

    In the same way many people have taken some time to investigate what others have claimed to be a source of what has no beginning and no end, even described it as peace, contentment, fulfillment, kingdom of Heaven or God. Their independant research yielded nothing. Many naturally had dismissed believing in something they could not see.

    Then along comes someone who contends there is a simple access to know this feature which comes standard so to speak, in each one of us. To illustrate the dilemma he may suggest to establish a perspective, that you attempt to turn each of your outer senses within. You try and nothing happens. You attempt mantras maybe yoga or tai chi, maybe Karate to no avail. It becomes easy to dismiss the entire exercise until you cross paths again with that person and ask how do I get in?

    Then and only then, once shown, does the invisible become visible.

    Your initial feeling might be WOW moments, and the thinking process may yield a how did I ever miss this – it is so obvious? And certainly not hocus pocus. Over time the initial subtlety of the extraordinary grows in acceptence as you discover more and more inside yourself about an asset that is much more significant than the rationale in dismissing it. Like finding a treasure chest within.

    Then from that perspective you see the human race’s dilemma and start realizing we, not God have created our own mess here but have the tools at our disposal to right the ship. Consciousness breeds common sense.

  • 418. ubi dubium  |  March 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    You’re talking about pulling on a button instead of pushing it. But as far as we can tell, there isn’t any button there. Wishing really hard that there is a “button” does not mean there is one. And until there is an actual reason to think such a “button” exists, when there is something verifiable and repeatable, then you are are still talking “hocus pocus”.

    You may have had interesting experiences inside your own brain, which your brain is interpreting as having connected with something “other”. To me it is just as likely that your brain’s circuitry that distinguishes “self” from “not self” is being temporarily disabled, and some of your own thoughts are beng misclassified by your brain as “other”.

    Word salad is not a reason for me to believe in woo. Your own personal perceptions are not a reason for me to believe in woo. Reality is great. I don’t need to believe in some “spirit world” to have a rich and full life. Sorry.

  • 419. cag  |  March 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Alban, Ubi has done a great dissection of your “salad”. There is no god to either blame or depend on. Your ramblings appear to be somewhat biblical in that both the bible and your writings are of no value to us. Allegory, metaphors and parables are not evidence, nor are feelings. Prove it or hush it.

  • 420. Alban  |  March 19, 2012 at 4:13 am

    The label,”God” personnifies an energy or a power that simply sustains life. A tiny portion of that is the difference of us upright breathing or downright dead. Inversion of the senses is not a new idea. So as I pointed out to Cag, Ubi turn each of your outer senses withinand there’s not anything out of the ordinary, probably not much of an experience, is it?

    Two facts Cag. The relating of a firsthand experience of what is there when it is entered (after being shown) has never worked out well in historical documentation to “prove” in the classic 3D sense. Many overlook another more significant determinant which is proof.

    It is the tip of the iceberg and it is subtle as it is buried under several layers of blockages from all of our conditioning. When this message of possibility is engaged from a living breathing source by listening mostly, you can notice that something in you has subtly changed, like a seesaw. Something that was silent or inaudible previously, possibly not ever considered now is present, while at the same time that which is so present perhaps so loud like a commentator inside, is somewhat more quiet if not for a period of time, ‘tamed’. The balance of those 2 energies opens up an observation of stillness that is pleasing. For most it’s just enjoyed without the analysis. (I however have always liked analyzing – maybe not to the extent you do)

    What may to many be just phenomena grows as attention is continued, not so much in the words but in the ability to feel that part again that would’ve been ‘foreign’ previously is simply now subtlely joyful. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th visit if you are noticing, favors the silence and its ‘sound’ is louder than the thought process. The seesaw is reversed. Most that get that far want to keep going as that feeling of contentment simultaneous to the control of their own minds seems like something they should have at their disposal as much as possible.

    Why ? Because it feels really good. And there is nothing else that strikes you this way. Incomparable. You somehow sense or know that feeling is indescribable and this subsequent sense of gratitude just shows up for godpeople, atheists, agnostics or pigmies. And as you accept ( as opposed to believe or read) more of the natural appreciation which is yours, you realize this is way beyond mind control. Like I said, tip of the iceberg.

    Other than that analysis in the early stages of listening to the teacher I cannot show you something you would have to find within yourself with that help of course.The evidence is all self contained in a much larger arena than what we sense externally. “The ocean exists in every drop”. Check it out. The proof-the evidence you demand is already inside you.

    When that proof comes out so do you.

  • 421. Alban  |  March 19, 2012 at 4:47 am

    PS. There is taste, smell, feel, visual and auditory proof within, when the Knowledge is given. My ‘analysis’ was on the approach to knowing, not once it has been given. You will have your own word salad at that point…filled to the brim with proof…then another larger cup with even more proof.

    This is so much without prejudice that someday we won’t worry if we were right or wrong, who was a believer, who was a skeptic or who was a woo person.That day not too distant I hope, is when all of us will appreciate beyond our different ideas, agendas and differences what it is that each of us truly have in common. Maybe that is the ‘saving grace’.

  • 422. cag  |  March 19, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    That proves it. It is possible to type in tongues.

  • 423. bert10  |  March 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    412. cag | March 15, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Because the law will eventually bring everyone to the point where we will despair. And it is in this state that some will choose to make wrong decisions that at times leads to massive consequences for many people such as shootings and other means of mass killings.

    And if we do not get our morality and knowledge of good and evil who shall set the bar?

    And all civilizations who have followed paths outside of the code of GOD have been destroyed in one form or another. The Romans paid dearly even for many centuries of the pain that they themselves have inflicted to the world. Over many generation they have received many folds what they have done to others.

    bert10

    [Quote] bert10, why do I have to have trust in something that will never fail me? Why would I have to make something up to lean on? Just because you need a crutch for your poisoned mind does not mean that everyone does. Belief in gods is an indication of abject ignorance and wishful thinking added to the desire for power of the religious scam artists leaders. Humans have made up over 2800 gods/goddesses. None of them are real, but people still believed in them. Grow up and accept that you have been the victim of a conspiracy to enslave you emotionally. An ancient lie is still a lie, age will not mellow the lie. How unfortunate that you have your god glasses permanently attached.””” [/Quote]

  • 424. ubi dubium  |  March 20, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    And if we do not get our morality and knowledge of good and evil who shall set the bar?

    @Bert
    The bar is set by human beings and always has been. Sometimes people write some of the rules down in books and pretend that they came from a god. But they all came from humans, working them out by trial and error, figuring out what works to keep their society running smoothly, just like always.

    And all civilizations who have followed paths outside of the code of GOD have been destroyed in one form or another.

    There’s a billion or so Hindus in India and a billion or so Taoists/Buddhists/Confucianists in China who might not agree with you on that. You have a very narrow western European focus there.

  • 425. cag  |  March 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    bert10, what law are you talking about? Protect and serve? Why would there be despair? Is this the “law” that is referenced in Matt 5:18? If so, did you stone to death preachers that preach on the sabbath?

    Why would anyone care about some silliness written in a book where the central hero is a no-show? What exactly is this “code of god”?

    Enlighten me, what civilizations have there been that followed the code of “god”?

  • 426. Be True  |  March 22, 2012 at 3:37 am


    “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

    What guarantee do you have?

  • 427. Be True  |  March 22, 2012 at 4:11 am


    “He prayed to the LORD, “O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

    You wonder why nothing has happened to you yet. Please don’t overplay God’s grace. Repent humble yourself and pray that God may have mercy on you.

  • 428. Alban  |  March 22, 2012 at 5:35 am

    Cag – right and wrong here we go again. The code is never left up to after the fact – it must always be present. The central hero does keep showing up reminding us that we have inside the exact determinant to choose what makes common sense decisions and you keep berating that simple possibility of distinction.

    That presence is not going to sweep away the ignorance, he/she will simply make available what will help people make the best decisions. And not first for the ultimate decisions of the race. Rather it is for the individual. However, together that can change outcomes but it is the individual responsiblity FIRST AND FOREMOST that is paramount to consider in this quest.

    That is the long and short of God, so lighten up.

    Put your energy and that enthusiasm into how we can work together to make it better unless you’re just stuck on your own ignorance and its dedication to no solution. If there is no recognized commoness, we will always have a false purpose based on hypothesis as adjudicated by each indivudual. There is a huge difference between the humble and the narcissists as long as the humble within knowing, separate opinion from what is actually best and never ending within that objective. That far reduces the choices without ending opinion.

    Choices and opinions need to be distinguished. Opinion is merely rationale. Choices give us results. Opinions are like monday morning quarterbacks, aren’t they? So what about playing the game? Only a living teacher brings clarity, and living people are the living decision makers. Wouldn’t it make sense to align living help with the living people?…if it were available…

    Would you want heart surgery from a “doctor” reading out of a manual or a person telling you it can’t happen or never did. Something or some things would not make sense. As a race we do not see these concerns through real answer(s). We are satisfied with tragedy, and its resulting rationale which make skeptics the perfect Monday morning quarterbacks.

    If only you could supply constructive criticism…if not, shut it down.

  • 429. ubi dubium  |  March 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Be True, why are you quoting at us from a source we don’t trust about an invisible man we’ve outgrown?

    Well I can can do that too. Ahem…

    “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”

    Why have you turned from Santa Claus? He is waiting to embrace you with open arms! What guarantee do you have of presents unless you believe with you’re whole heart? Come back to Santa or verily you shall find coal in your stocking!

    (Convincing, no? That’s what you sound like when you bible-thump at a non-believer. So knock it off!)

  • 430. Be True  |  March 22, 2012 at 8:52 am

    This Site speaks of de-conversion – Ubi Dubium and Cag a very dangerous statement if you look at Hebrew 10:29 below. I believe there is still hope for you as I believe you guys to act in ignorance.

    How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

    Humble yourself and repent, maybe Jonah 3:9
    Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.

    He did in this instance forgive – please I urge you please please I blieve you never truly met Jesus otherwise you would not have de-converted. Take your chance now.. Please

    Take it now!

  • 431. cag  |  March 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Be True, when will you realize that your parents don’t know everything. They lied to you about god. That was not their fault as they in turn had been lied to. The conversion of your ancestors was done under threat of death, not faith. To protect their children they started the lying. Some of us have seen past the veil and reject unsubstantiated, unevidenced superstition. Your scare quotes from a source that we know is fictional (earth before sun, nonexistent flood and so on) do not have the effect you intended, unless you are practising your stand-up routine.

    Only an idiot would by “a pig in a poke”. Oh….

    Alban, evidence, real evidence, not your fawning blatherings for your god. Religion has had nearly 2000 years to come up with evidence for your god and what do we get – apologetics – words that are designed to appeal to emotion and hide the fact that there is no proof. You are totally unconvincing to evidence based individuals. Your nonsense may be appealing to the weak minded, but does not work on us. Your imaginary god is not interested in convincing me and I am not interested in having an imaginary friend.

    You do not need to gather points with your vile, disgusting sky daddy. There is no heaven, no hell, no gods, no devils, no angels and saints are just an honorary title granted by illegitimate cabals in an attempt to gain legitimacy and additional control of those it has deluded.

    So how did the following work out? Are there some 2000 year olds out there somewhere?

    “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” — Matthew16:28

    “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.” — Luke 9:27

    “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” — Matthew 23:36

    “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” — Matthew 24:34

    “Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” — Matthew 26:64

    “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” — Mark 9:1

    “Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” — Mark 13:30

    “And ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” — Mark 14:62

    “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” — Luke 21:32

    And you expect us to believe anything in that book full of holes (holy)?

    I do not fear heaven, I do not pine for hell for I do not live in fantasy, I live in the real world, a world without gods or superstition, a world where salt is not thrown over the shoulder, a world where mirrors break without consequence, a world where spiders are dispatched, a world where ladders are not an impediment to movement, a world where black cats cross without consequence, a world where the silliness of others has no appeal.

  • 432. RationalGuy  |  March 23, 2012 at 12:04 am

    As a member of the LDS church who also has become disaffected..
    Every one of these assertions mirror my own experience. I am even older than John and have finally gotten the message. The LDS church is a fraud. It is bad for people, and members are deluding themselves to think otherwise. I stopped paying tithing recently and suggest that every member consider this. I also hope that those who have doubts sincerely investigate the history of the con-man Joseph Smith and how the current church is attempting to change and hide it’s own history. My experience is that this pernicious organization has morphed into a huge billion dollar earthly empire of real estate and business interests. Members of it are just being used as suckers and fleeced of their time and money.

  • 433. RationalGuy  |  March 23, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Reading some of the negative comments here… These are pat, choreographed Mormon answers for why someone leaves. They are told to say these things.

    1. You quit so you could sin.
    2. You must have been offended (or “butthurt”) by someone.
    3. You’ve been deceived by Satan! (cue sinister echoing laughter here.)

  • 434. bert10  |  March 23, 2012 at 1:30 am

    When a people get their morality and knowledge of good and evil from the lowest common denominator…that is what they will get in those areas. Usually once a people abandons GOD their doom is not far behind.Northern Israel was warned for about 200 years before the Lord lowered the boom on them.

    There are two things that you did not take into account in your logic below.

    First the law of heaven is: where much is given much is required.

    For Christians the penalty is greater to not heed the commandments of GOD than for those who are in false religions and have not known the truth..

    and the Second thing is, it also depends which Spiritual laws they are disobeying. For example Asians have a much lower divorce rate and a better family stability. This is due in part the young are taught to honor their elders. Which is akin the commandment that God gave by Moses to honor mother and father. And since GOD is no respecter of person they get the blessing of this law regardless if they are Christians or not.

    Another example…the only people to ever exist in this world for ever two thousand years without a country and to even prosper is the tribe of Judah. As a people they have many weaknesses…but their strongest strength was to keep the Sabbath. They were chased by the sword from country to country and yet wherever they establish themselves they soon came out on top…and this was due to the blessing of GOD. Even in America at first they did this and today we know their names in the movie industry and well known stores..such as Wallmart, Kmart, Eaton Simpson, Sears and Roebuck etc. also the two famous stores in the movie miracle on 34th st. Gimbel and Macy. Does Lehman Gold and Sachs mean anything to you?

    These lost the protection of GOD since these do not honor the Sabbath and cause their employees to work even on Sunday for Christians as long as the job gets down.

    They who break the law of the Sabbath shall eventually lose their lands and nation and shall be made poorer than Job over time.

    that is all I have to say on this. Every spiritual law contains blessings and cursings and the law does not care what one calls himself for God is no respecter of person. IF a buddhist lived all the laws of GOD He would get the benifit of them.

    bert10

  • 435. bert10  |  March 23, 2012 at 1:49 am

    425 Cag. The law depends on which gospel one is living in or society. All great civilizations or city state had great laws.

    Babylon became great when the people lived the code of Hammurabi for example. You will find much of it in the OT and some of the statutes are almost word for word. But it is mostly understood by us as the Law of Retaliation…(An Eye for an Eye, a tooth for a tooth and a life for a life) This is the lowest form of the laws of GOD a society needs to live in order to become great. Every great Civilization lived this law. Justice was sure and swift and fair. It was based on the harm one did to his neighbor whether it was intentional or not.

    The next law one can live is the law of you guess it…NON-Retaliation. In this law we do not resist evil but turn the other cheek. For whatever we resist remains and binds us to it sometimes for eternity.

    The next law one can live is to not only to forgive but to render good for evil. At this level we break the cycle of violence forever for ourselves and our children and children’s children by freeing us from our enemies. Though Israel was absent from the Holy Land for almost 2000 years. The old hatred survived unto this day.

    The next law after that is to Not only forgive our enemies but to render TWAIN the good for evil This is also called walking the Second mile. The Second mile is freely given and it’s purpose is to ensure we are purged from any resentment that might have remained after we walked the first mile. The first mile is by commandment..but walking the second mile is freely given by us.

    People who live this last law..will eventually free themselves from all evil on this earth. The Evil will have lost its power to bind to them these. Since those who learn to love all men that deeply do not seek revenge, or restitution. And the truth shall set them free. And the Law of the truth is Love.

    bert10

    425. cag | March 20, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    bert10, what law are you talking about? Protect and serve? Why would there be despair? Is this the “law” that is referenced in Matt 5:18? If so, did you stone to death preachers that preach on the sabbath?

    Why would anyone care about some silliness written in a book where the central hero is a no-show? What exactly is this “code of god”?

    Enlighten me, what civilizations have there been that followed the code of “god”?

  • 436. Be True  |  March 23, 2012 at 2:56 am

    cag, I will answer you on those scriptures after this post:

    I have given you time and opportunity, Let’s just say how can you ever say what honey taste like unless you actually taste it, you can scientifically analyse it and probably come to an conclusion that it is sweet, but can never know for sure what it taste like until you taste it. You definitely know your ways, but could never know Jesus ways if you have not stepped in and tasted it yourself. Like always you guys say it is bogus – then I suppose it will be bogus to you.

    What is always surprising to me is what is actually stopping atheists of tasting, if it is nothingness according to their mindset, lest they experience something unexplainable from something unreal.

    But Hey, what it boils down to it is your choice and in essence that separates us of all animals as all of us has a choice. You choose not to believe, I choose to believe. According to my calculation we will find out in less than 80 years as both of us agree on one thing earthly death is inevitable.

  • 437. Be True  |  March 23, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Cag,

    “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” — Matthew16:28
    “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.” — Luke 9:27

    Mat 6:9-10 “This, then, is how you should pray: “`Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
    So they could have seen the kingdom – So you can see the kindom if you would let Him.

    “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” — Matthew 23:36
    The destruction of Jerusalem took place about forty years after this was spoken.

    “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” — Matthew 24:34
    this nation; i.e. the Jews shall not cease from being a distinct people, till all the counsels of God relative to them and the Gentiles be fulfilled.

    “Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” — Matthew 26:64
    somewhere in the near future if you put in perspective the age of man and eternity whenever this happens it won’t be long

    “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” — Mark 9:1
    Same as above – the Kingdom is here for you accept it is in front of you – take it

    “Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” — Mark 13:30
    Same as Matthew 23:36 above one is Matthew account this is Mark’s account of what was said

    “And ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” — Mark 14:62
    “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” — Luke 21:32
    Same as Matthew 24:34

    When Jesus said it is finished all was fulfilled.
    Freedom is yours – Love is yours – Peace is yours – accept Jesus: Now is the time.

  • 438. Be True  |  March 23, 2012 at 3:50 am

    Cag,

    Your Heart is pumping in your chest – I can feel it from here.

    Listen to the drum beat of His call. He is calling you. Now is the time take this opportunity and give unto the Lord.

    Holy Spirit tend to his heart. I prophesy live into your heart now. Streams of living water into your heart. That what you smell is the beckoning of the Holy Spirit.

  • 439. Be True  |  March 23, 2012 at 4:53 am

    bert10, I have tried reasoning with these two. I think they own this site and am eagerly waiting to prey on minds. I think if we let them be they will have nothing to talk about cause it is any way empty inside them. Let’s leave them to their own despair, they want it that way any way.

  • 440. ubi dubium  |  March 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

    “Be True”, you were the one who walked into out “sanctuary” to tell us that everything we think is wrong. If we did that to your church, it would be appallingly rude and you’d chuck us out the door.

    If I ran this site, you’d have been banned long ago. So yes, Be Gone.

    And no emptiness or misery here. I’m spending tomorrow with 30,000 -50,000 other non-believers, and I’ll be having a great time. None of us will be talking about guilt, or how mankind is inherently evil. We’ll be talking about how to make this world a better place, right here and now.

  • 441. cag  |  March 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Be True, quit repeating the lies of your bible. It is all fantasy. Of course my heart is beating in my chest. If it wasn’t I’d be dead. Your bankrupt philosophy and lame excuses only give me a laugh. I’m not intimidated by that which is obviously false.

    I have nothing to do with the running of this site. What I do is to counter lies with realism. I realize that there are people who would be scared of your words – please do not poison them with your lies.

  • 442. bert10  |  March 24, 2012 at 3:42 am

    439. Be True | March 23, 2012 at 4:53 am

    I do not respond only for the blind as they are also being used by GOD. There are others who are seeking more truth and some of them will find a little bit with my post. Who knows that little bit could be the very thing they need to break their Dam (Damnation of Waters of life)

    bert10

    bert10, I have tried reasoning with these two. I think they own this site and am eagerly waiting to prey on minds. I think if we let them be they will have nothing to talk about cause it is any way empty inside them. Let’s leave them to their own despair, they want it that way any way.

  • 443. cag  |  March 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    bert10, which of the over 2800 gods would be the “GOD” you refer to? Do not confuse truth with your proselytizing.

    Be True, do not use the word “reason” in the same sentence where you are trying to scam someone into believing superstitious nonsense.

  • 444. bert10  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:13 am

    443 Cag

    That is an easy one. The ONLY TRUE GOD will fulfill the promises when the conditions upon which they are predicated on are obeyed.

    for example…Ask with faith and ye shall receive, Seek and you shall find and knock it shall opened.

    The false gods will not fulfill those promises. The Only True GOD will, and His name is Almighty until He later revealed Himself to us as Jehovah etc.

    bert10, which of the over 2800 gods would be the “GOD” you refer to? Do not confuse truth with your proselytizing.

  • 445. Be True  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:13 am

    #440 Ubi

    “Be True”, you were the one who walked into out “sanctuary” to tell us that everything we think is wrong. If we did that to your church, it would be appallingly rude and you’d chuck us out the door.

    I have been inviting you every time you refuse to try and walk into His Church – not a building…

    It is simple Humble yourself and pray – repent of your sins and ask him to be your Lord and Saviour. If you mean this in your Heart and speak it from your mouth, you will be born again then we can talk some further about the ignorance you were under.

    ——–

    But hey, It is just too tall a ask, or is it?

  • 446. Be True  |  March 27, 2012 at 7:20 am

    #442 bert10

    Got you – Just remember this; Psalm 1:1 – and keep yourself covered.

  • 447. cag  |  March 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    bert10, Be True, so have you asked with faith that I embrace your absurd beliefs? How is that working out so far? Wasn’t jesus an itinerant preacher in the fairy tale? So he should come to us. What has it been, 1979 years playing hide and hide. Jesus must be following in his “fathers” sandals – another no-show.

    Apart from the lies you have been told, what evidence do you have for your god, evidence that would be convincing. You cannot refer to the bible for your evidence as that would be circular reasoning (god exists because the bible says so, the bible is true because it’s the word of god (also known as begging the question)).

    Please provide evidence that prayer is anything more than talking to yourself. The outcome for those that pray and those that do not believe is statistically insignificant. The difference is the non-believers do not worry about going to hell.

    Do not talk about ignorance until you explain why your bible claims that the earth was created before the sun and the universe. Ignorance indeed.

  • 448. Alban  |  March 28, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Is the Lord, giver of all or just a geenie?… for requests or immediate needs.

    Giver of all indicates an active 2 way communication…maybe not a conversation, rather a communion where wisdom can be allowed to be felt providing a clarity to make conscious decisions…but physically yes, the possibility of a 2 way PHYSICAL discussion and yes, a little more to with what could be the greatest wish of all.

    What is the most significant part of that answer? Wisdom or the physical? (Hint) the wisdom doesn’t come without the physical, and the physical doesn’t come without the wisdom. Mm, how does a skeptic figure that one? And how would the Faithful rationalize this apparent discrepancy? Is the one that has no beginning or end playing the ponies or assisting in the walking thru the door of clarity?

    Just a lackey, a part-time referee throwing a flag in, or reconstitution and possibly restoration, not about the debate, but about the value of the subject at hand?

    Thirst is a neccessity in our lives that is essential to quench. If I am walking thru a desert without the need to have my thirst quenched, I’d be off the charts, more than a quatrillion to one odds against – not needing the water say, an oasis might provide.

    If however I am thirsty beyond all get out, what does that oasis mean to me? That consideraton is of significant value . Sooo, are we there yet?

    In case not, is life about categories and labels and reasons, or does it have much more meaningful application in the tangible realm of quality and gratitude beyond a physical circumstantial environment that we have bought into, that our grandparents and their grandparents etc; bought into? Does it matter how far back we go to pinpoint the confusion, the ignorance and all that came of it, or do we request the wisdom to go thru the door that returns each of us to a perspective untainted, to be better able to choose wisely?…to then and only then have the best and clearest ability to discern what is temporal and what is not?

    This is not at all vague or invisible. It is much more real than say it’s symbol of the hyphen between the 2 dates on the gravestone.

    The gravity of that choice, I hope and trust, needs no further elaboration.

  • 449. bert10  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:15 am

    447. cag | March 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    One cannot use faith in that manner to make others embrace ones belief. To use force is Satan’s way and it does not work.Each Spiritual law contains within it blessings and cursing. And it does not matter who obeys it. they shall get the blessing of it and who shall break it. They shall get the cursing (Wrath) for God is not a respecter of persons. So in a manner of speaking we are responsible as individuals and a people and a nation for bringing down heaven on the earth or raising hell on it. So far we have raised hell on it and it is getting worse.

    As for finding God Jesus said to seek Him early. And only they will find Him. They who obeys the laws shall find Him and they who do not, will not. It is not hard.

    bert10

    “”bert10, Be True, so have you asked with faith that I embrace your absurd beliefs? How is that working out so far? Wasn’t jesus an itinerant preacher in the fairy tale? So he should come to us. What has it been, 1979 years playing hide and hide. Jesus must be following in his “fathers” sandals – another no-show.””

  • 450. bert10  |  March 28, 2012 at 3:31 am

    448. Alban | March 28, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Is the Lord, giver of all or just a geenie?… for requests or immediate needs.

    I sort of answered that in the previous post. They who shall obey the law..shall get the blessing upon which it is predicated on. And they who break the law shall receive wrath. So is Jesus a Genie? No. We are the author of our own heaven or hell on the earth. The power of the Scriptures is for overcoming the world. It is to turn all negatives of our lives into positives.

    For example any people who shall obey the law of the Sabbath shall do better economically and shall never lose their national identity even if they have no country like the Jews were for a while. And they were chased out of every country and yet in each place they established themselves they eventually came on top.

    Every nation that does not keep the Sabbath shall eventually go bankrupt and its people shall not eat the good of the land anymore. By flood, droughts and natural disasters and enacting wrong policies because the right people are not there anymore..a nation shall be reduced to poverty, There shall be divisions, infighting,,,then shall come greater disasters, famines diseases, plagues and wars and invasions.

    bert10

    Giver of all indicates an active 2 way communication…maybe not a conversation, rather a communion where wisdom can be allowed to be felt providing a clarity to make conscious decisions…but physically yes, the possibility of a 2 way PHYSICAL discussion and yes, a little more to with what could be the greatest wish of all.

    What is the most significant part of that answer? Wisdom or the physical? (Hint) the wisdom doesn’t come without the physical, and the physical doesn’t come without the wisdom. Mm, how does a skeptic figure that one? And how would the Faithful rationalize this apparent discrepancy? Is the one that has no beginning or end playing the ponies or assisting in the walking thru the door of clarity?

  • 451. Alban  |  March 28, 2012 at 7:30 am

    bert 10 You are devout in your faith and are obviously up on your knowledge of scripture, but remember nations are made up of individuals. No nation in thousands maybe millions of years were made up of individuals who were truly sovereign as individuals with a one to one acceptance of “God”.

    At that juncture they abused that power making it work for a nations glory- essentially abdictating (giving too much power over to the electorate) protection under the guise of security which was by any other name, vanity.

    You’ll have to do a bit of research about Atlantis -there’s not a lot left to indicate what happened, but the commandment which Christians revere among the 10 about not taking the Lord’s name in vain came from the mistep of this time period, a weapon that our own nuclear arsenol cannot compare to.

    So we return to cavemen after that epoch and what has no beginning and no end begins again with the base lesson…recognizing the acceptence and the gratitude of life itself.

    So now we have a little ‘hutzpah’ and eventially a country (the U.S.) that is designed on purpose to be completely sovereign and guess what, that alliance of those 2 sovereignities, Israel and the U.S. is under condemnation by the rest of the world.

    Did we as a race understand the lesson? Was a crucifixion a sign of our ignorance – our rejection of that acceptance? We’re not talking about submission here – we are talking about individual sovereignity freedom, liberation, salvation – the implicit right to know, to feel, to accept and be grateful!!!!!!!

    This is our birthright. Yes there is an obstacle. That is what makes the whole ‘play’ a challenge…the formidible foe it is, makes winning – acceptance of the ‘creator’ in it’s essence, gratifying, but we get caught in the snare of implication and ramification…slaves to the rules and the originating fears that created them.

    That’s the big picture. Can we play and win? Sure. But we cannot play in fear and we must be aware (proveably) of the source of life within us that makes the game – the challenge – so much fun…with all the crevices and all the hardships WE created as backdrops and all the decisions we have made in ignorance of our greatest possibility.

    Yes tragedy has occured, but we made it so, NOT THE GIVER OF LIFE – EVER!!!!!!

    It’s alot to grock I know, but there is no judgement of not knowing and I am probably not 100% in my historical assertions but am close enough that a big picture can be considered. I am an advocate for all those who sincerely want to know what does mean the most and there are many many more like me.

    We didn’t come to change the world, we came to sing the glory of what is possible in this world to really, really enjoy what is our greatest possibility and then make a difference, in that order. Not knocking Faith or even skepticism. It’s never been about who is right or wrong! It has always been about perceiving the celebration of life itself.

    And there is a living teacher…always has been..Jesus’s actual words were: I am not the first nor the last…but he probably did state the reality that it is one at a time!…in every time.

    So, not a no-show Cag-I say this in humility, not derisively. Please be clear.

  • 452. Be True  |  March 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Alban:

    Jesus’s actual words were: I am not the first nor the last…

    Where do you read this in the bible?

  • 453. alban  |  March 29, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Be True: I did not read it in the bible. If you go back and read my previous posts (dislike putting it in this context) what ‘s been articulated, there is a knowing – a Knowledge within everyone who is alive, of what has no beginning and no end. It is tangibly experiential, not mystical or imagined. It must be first person perceived, not passed along like so much else of what we learn.

    In that knowledge which asks, not demands daily vigilence there is an awakening of Truth, not relative truths with agendas like the nicene conventions upheld that compiled and edited our modern bible.(not at all divinely chosen)

    So no, the predecessors and successors of Jesus for the most part as best as I can surmise, made the Knowledge available as they were able. With travel and obviously technology challenges abounding, blind Faith was as close as we could get in terms of the masses to discover the holy. So cudos THEN for the mercy of faith…not many could get to the master and the master could. not easily travel to the masses.

    All those obstacles are now gone, but it is hardest for the faithul to let go of their ‘pacifier’. You’d expect they above all could, but the legend of faith which is so ingrained by belief and imagination is hard to shake. It’s a pavlovian thing I guess.

    There is an ear for this case which I have put forward from my own previous perspective and I know the reality bruises the ego, but for godsakes, get past that speedbump and consider fulfillment in the obvious absence of it….Jesus was not the first or the last, the only one for his 3 1/2 year tour? Yes, and the only one to get crucified which he allowed, not to glorify himself but to display again the ability of that which has no beginning or no end to overcome death, resurrection or not.

    And yes this was more significant than bringing Lazerous back, but not at all about redemption, sacraficing himself that we may live.That’s the early catholic church spin to eradicate the ‘knowing’ Jesus made available. Remove the meaning of life he made available to people and make his overcoming the crucifixion, the meaning. These guys thought this out…just to control behavior collect taxes make a few bucks, saving a few tax avoider lives while they were were killing thousands of others for heresy.

    if you don’t know the history of the catholic church that began your own religion, you better invest some time in finding out about the atrocities. then you won’t be shocked by Jesus saying he wasn’t the first or the last. You will understand why the catholic church wanted him to be the first and the last!.

  • 454. Be True  |  March 29, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Alban:

    was the catholic’s involved in preserving the Torah?

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    After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

  • 456. bert10  |  March 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    451. Alban | March 28, 2012 at 7:30 am

    It is not that hard, everybody, people and nations will fall somewhere between the seven virtues and the seven vices. Spiritual laws are given so that men will have consequences in their choices. Some need to learn the hard way what works and what doesn’t. Though sometimes the consequence is felt years even many decades after the fact, this has lead for some to believe that there are no consequences to choices and say when diseases, afflictions come, that it is because it is natural or due to old age. Well it is not. People are more like sheep than many realizes. Just as an individual has a set of character traits so do families, peoples and nations.

    When a individual or a people is in harmony with Spiritual laws even nature will work in harmony with him or with that people. When an individual is not in harmony with Spiritual laws…even his physical body will rebel and nature will cease to co-operate with him. This goes for people and nations. For example a national sin that carries heavy duty consequences is “Abortion”

    bert10

    “””bert 10 You are devout in your faith and are obviously up on your knowledge of scripture, but remember nations are made up of individuals. No nation in thousands maybe millions of years were made up of individuals who were truly sovereign as individuals with a one to one acceptance of “God”.”””

  • 457. Alban  |  April 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    bert 10. Individuals always reap what they sow. Where nations suffer as acollective is on the backs of what their leaders decide. In the case of abortion, ultimately it is the mother’s decision. That will never change despite any laws to the contrary.

    Spiritual law in regard to health is tricky. Stress, common sense and genes have alot to do with health. Prescription drugs, overly chlorinated water, tainted (in so many ways) food do contrast common sense. So a symtom of our ignorance is we accept advice and regulation by our leaders as “should or should not do” when it comes to health issues. Common sense is really a great measuring stick. And not to slam ‘modern medicine’. It has a significant place in society on many levels.

    We are just trained however to read and hear what to believe. Someone like Jesus comes along however and offers the inner connection ( knowing vs. believing) to what has no beginning and no end and guess what begins to happen?

    People get to know themselves, re-establish their sovereignity, get genuinely grateful, stress diminishes, clarity abounds and common sense becomes abundant. DNA might take awhile to work itself out, but overall, contentment takes each of us a long way, maybe even close to celebrating life.

    In terms of daily giving (like donations) I think what has no beginning and no end might do a matching thing…maybe more. It has been my experience that surprise awaits everyday in that realm. (outside of circumstance) Even better health working within spiritual law (sort of like starting at the root) appears somehow to follow.

    Cag and Ubi – I know this contains biblical undertones, but that is not where I get my ‘material’…like the Jefferson quote to John Adams 13 April, 1820 “…Among the sayings and the discourses imputed to him(Jesus) by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being…”

  • 458. cag  |  April 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Alban, the reason for Jefferson writing of contradictions in the “words” of jesus is fairly obvious when you realize that jesus is a figment of ancient imaginations, just more lies in the same book that claims that the earth was created before the sun.

    When you theists finally are able to agree on anything, let us know.

  • 459. Be True  |  April 2, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Alban: You have not answered #454

  • 460. Alban  |  April 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Be True: I am neither a new testament or an old testament scholar so I don’t know how the Torah impacted either one. Catholics would only “perserve” portions of the torah that benefitted them in some way.

    What I do know is in the early catholic church there were 2 primary factions – gnostics and the orthodox who did not dispute the old testament. The gnostics maintained the same rituals as the orthodox but based their belief squarely on a “knowing” (“gnosis” and not the same as todays modern gnostic church version), the experience that Jesus and his successor(s) imparted to those sincerely wanting to know and asking to be connected within themselves. The orthodox denying that possibility of divine union and being more infuenced by the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle -utilized REASON, pre-empting, then winning the day over experience, but not without the murder and the destruction of written accounts of gnostic ‘heretics’…over a 200 year perod.

    This is our christian ancestory beginning long after the torah was written.

    Emperor Constantine put the icing on the cake by converting publicly to christianity (the young catholic church) and inspiring both of the Nicene Conventions where the bible’s new testament was carefully crafted and the ”mystery of faith” cemented. But not without ‘witch hunts’ for heretics and their writings over the next 400 years. This isn’t fantasy. Estimates of those killed in this time period range from 4- 5 million people although the church describes these numbers as mostly a result of the plague.

    To this day the catholic church maintains the “Pontifical Biblical Commission” whose mission underneath its creed of teaching scripture the ‘right way’ is extinguishing and or neutralizing anything that might diminish their mystery of faith and all its precepts.. The discovery of the dead sea scrolls and the writings unearthed at Nag Hammadi really set these guys off..inclusive of not letting their own translators translate consecutive pages.

    One of the many names of gnosis – the knowing, is ‘hidden wisdom’ which if read, I could find in the torah probably like all the ancient scriptures alluding to this same ‘mysterious’ (knowing) phenomenon. Even the translation to our term, righteousness, begs the question – what is the source of piety, honesty and virtue? Is it the direct tangible knowing the source and living in that appreciation or believing then acting out do-s and don’ts; inherent or created…with or without human supervision and judgement of course?

    What is it about our race that attracts us to slavery and shrouds actual inner freedom in mystery and puts exclamation points on skepticism? My best guess is fear of the unknown and fear of consequences shielded by rational disinterest. Personally I think it time we get interested again in the experiential, putting our 5 senses back to enjoying the inner part of our being(s). And there will be no physical reprisals, (maybe some administrative catholic outrage) just the perspective of how fortunate we are and what are our greatest assets.

    We could consider it a responsibility to rekindle our interest again in this area but the accurate perspective is more like taking advantage of an incredible opportunity.

  • 461. Be True  |  April 3, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Alban:

    Out of the torah:

    Isaiah 53:
    1 ‘Who would have believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he shot up right forth as a sapling, and as a root out of a dry ground; he had no form nor comeliness, that we should look upon him, nor beauty that we should delight in him. 3 He was despised, and forsaken of men, a man of pains, and acquainted with disease, and as one from whom men hide their face: he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely our diseases he did bear, and our pains he carried; whereas we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded because of our transgressions, he was crushed because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our welfare was upon him, and with his stripes we were healed. 6 All we like sheep did go astray, we turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath made to light on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, though he humbled himself and opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before her shearers is dumb; yea, he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away, and with his generation who did reason? for he was cut off out of the land of the living, for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due. 9 And they made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich his tomb; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.’ 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to crush him by disease; to see if his soul would offer itself in restitution, that he might see his seed, prolong his days, and that the purpose of the LORD might prosper by his hand: 11 Of the travail of his soul he shall see to the full, even My servant, who by his knowledge did justify the Righteous One to the many, and their iniquities he did bear. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. {P}

    With big words you are trying to convince yourself that your understanding is sound. This normally indicates to me that there is a lying spirit at work.

    If our God is big enough to create the universe and everything we see, surely His big enough to protect His Word no matter in whose hands it was. People always on about this is wrong and that is wrong in the Bible, I believe it is God breathed and True. Not one verse can I find although many atheists have tried to disprove me that is out of line and can’t be confirmed to the old Testament and the fulfilling of the New.

    Please do not say Jesus said something that He did not or claim that he implied without surety.

    Jesus is part of the trinity and therefore is the First and the Last, the I AM.

  • 462. Alban  |  April 3, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Be True: Being alive is the key here. As obvious as that may be, it can never be underestimated. Therefore you might consider the Trinity in a very similar light but the same potentially unbroken chain(people being the weakest link) with present tense implication.

    The living Knowing/Presence of what has no beginning and no end, the living person/people and the living-breathing teacher whose gift it is to inspire and show the living knowing/presence (aka “indwelt” historical christian term) to parallel Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

    II am sure, 100% that each life holds the possibility of discovering Fulfillment within.

  • 463. Alban  |  April 3, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Be True -part 2.

    So from my certainity I distinguish the contexts of first and last from alpha and omega. The label God, which I believe has simply turned both the alpha and the omega and Jesus into proverbial wishing wells for most believers, is nonetheless infinite, not subject to dimensional or conceptual restraints, so also existing without beginning or end or even yes, the ultimate beginning or the ultimate end if you wish. Describing the infinite is challenging with words.

    Jesus as person before he was indwelt (as the Christ in his final 3 1/2 years) was indeed special. I would speculate that had we been alive then and interacted with him we would have thought him wonderful, fascinating, charismatic and fun to be around, extremely intelligent, inquisitive and probably somewhat a prodigy as a child…among many other qualities.

    It has been hypothesized that Jesus was born without sin and is synonymous with a soul – his specifically, without what christians term ‘original sin’. That is not a quick conversation but more practical than virgin birth.

    This terrific young man, this great soul was CHOSEN to contain the power or the gift however you can imagine it, to inspire and reveal what has no beginning and no end within inside individuals who sincerely wished to know. Others possibly including his predacessor were not always of the same origin or constitution. The choosing is always what throws people off as it truly is a mystery.

    What is not a mystery is how those searching for Joy, Peace, Salvation, Fulfillment, Nirvana etc, determine the genuineness of the one who could truly offer the connection. Not by works or external miracles- (think this brought much unneccessary attention to his 3 1/2 year mission) but the simple appreciation for the beauty and sweet appreciation of life itself as incorporate with the individual.

    How to determine the Charlatans is simple. Something of an external nature will always be added on as a requirement. The one who is geuine suggests living, listening and learning from the place where the awareness and the Heart meet. For instance Jesus did not hand out Bibles to the Apostles or require costumes to be worn or mandate abstenance of wine or charge to receive the gift.

    His ability to reveal the kingdom of God within, extended past a charismatic personality. Many who came to listen, walked away inspired but completely unaware of what had just happened. Those who followed him were like jewelers, finely detecting something touched within themselves that they wanted to feel everyday in their lives, something extraordinary that brought about an unconditional gratitude.

    Think about that. What else does that? Mm.

    When it comes down to a person who has this ability, that person does not seek glorification. The glory as he or she would put it, “is within you”.

    In the same way Jesus who was himself shown this long before he was able to show it by the ONE previous to his time (as the ONE), knew he was not the first or the last who could do this and definitely knew his own successor…be it Peter, James or yes maybe Mary Magdalene or someone else, not that he, Jesus chose by the way. Again choice is really the only mystery…although

    It seems that when the “great soul” who is ” to come” is of great prophecy there may be the same sinless element of that soul. Still that soul must be born, live, learn and be shown the inner knowing addressed here. The option and destiny of that person in regards to offering the gift is believe it or not, his or her choice, though I’m of the mindset, (guessing) the greater the hope and expectation of the devotees the more likely that person spreads the gift..

  • 464. bert10  |  April 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    As in the example of Abortion…the leaders and the people are responsible. True the mother makes the decision,,,but the government, the financial systems and laws and the police gives protection to the murderers. Especially in a democratic country. Take for example when the State of Florida let Terry Schiavo die of starvation in the hospital. In the day I have said that the Lord would not let that slide that the sin was state wide. Shortly after her death Florida received 3 of the worst 11 storms since they began to keep records. And the Lord is not finished with Florida. When I was in New Orleans a sense of dread came over me as I mussed howl long would the Lord tolerate that wicked city. So the Lord cleansed it with water….It is my wish that the Lord continues to send them warnings and not proceed to the next cleansing which shall be with fire.

    As for health wise. When a disease is from the Lord for purification it has a beginning and a middle and a ending. When it comes because of sins…the person remains overcome by it. The power of God is for overcoming all things of the world. Even diseases that comes because of the environment. The days of the wicked shall be shortened by diseases, afflictions, accidents and the sword. (all forms of violence) And the days of the righteous shall be lengthened. However, it also depends on what God has in mind for us on the other side. That takes priority over earthly matter since they are things that pertains to our eternity.

    bert10

    bert 10. Individuals always reap what they sow. Where nations suffer as acollective is on the backs of what their leaders decide. In the case of abortion, ultimately it is the mother’s decision. That will never change despite any laws to the contrary.

  • 465. cag  |  April 3, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    So many servings of word salad and nothing for the carnivore.

    No gods, no jesus, no angels, no devil, no real saints, only delusions.

    Why is it that the “documentation” for jesus, presumably the most important event in christian history, did not appear until decades after the alleged crucifixion? The logical answer does not include oral history as there were people able to document the existence of jesus. The actions of your jesus were so forgettable that they only appear in the stories of a spin doctor for christianity, writing decades later. Not compelling evidence at all. Combine that with the misinformation (lies) of the bible, such as the earth being formed before the universe, and the myth becomes laughable.

    I find it amusing that christians can’t agree on the directives of their “perfect” book. Your postings read like the 3 stooges of christianity.

  • 466. Be True  |  April 4, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Cag: Go read 911 comment. God forgive him for he does not know what he is doing.

  • 467. Be True  |  April 4, 2012 at 3:56 am

    Alban:

    Out of the Torah: Just so there is no misunderstanding on your philosophy on the Catholic involvement:

    Genesis 1:26 And God said: ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’

    Who is this –Us–

    Daniel 3:25 He answered and said: ‘Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.

    How can Jesus be there, How can he be borne of a man’s sperm then? if He was always there? if it is foretold then see:

    Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: behold, the young woman shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    At that time in Jewish culture almost unanimously all young women were virgins, the moment they are impregnated they no longer called young.

    Now leaving the Torah – Out of the NIV new testament.
    Colosians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
    Col 1:16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
    Col 1:17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

    Talking about Jesus.

    1John 4:2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God,
    1Jo 4:3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

    You see the error of your way? By what you are implying you are discrediting Jesus as fully Christ and fully man and declaring an Antichrist spirit, You are stating that He is not God. You are refuting that He could be your Saviour. Repent and Rebuke that lying spirit.

  • 468. Alban  |  April 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Bert 10: To be fully aware – as much as possible usually helps individuals avoid what you’re describing -group karma. At this precise stage of our evolution, many who are snared-unknowingly enslaved, can become victims of their leaders decisions, I agree. I know a number of people whom I identify as ‘aware’ who managed to remain alive and safe in the 2 disasters you pinpoint.

    Loss or destruction of property is secondary to life and health. Some, if not alot of injury and fatality result from not being able to distinguish between what to let go of and what to cling to. When saving yourself becomes the priority in a disaster, common sense hits its zenith. Survival becomes a high probability.

    When the value of human life is sincerely prioritized – not just lip service the individuals who do avoid death in both natural and man made disasters (such as bombings) – even if they are not classically religious, somehow escape thankful to be alive and those who are religious, credit God with their survival. both I suggest valued their lives more than the fear of losing it, worked to survive with what they could and yes in some cases ‘miraculously’ were saved.Like the definition of grace, there are physical laws that attract protection, but it begins in awareness not fear or begging God.

    Taking a gun onto a battlefield to protect a way of life, or the lives of fellow countrymen is noble and courageous in it’s intent, but it is high risk activity that ideally should never happen. So even people who are aware, who are conscious individuals, cave in on causes and ideals sometimes that lead into harm’s way.

    We are still a young civilization. Those who are or might become aware have not overcome ignorance but to sincerely appreciate life is an awesome place to be!…certainly a great beginning.

    Also if it were possible to understand that eternity begins with what you savor in life, then savor what you have been given – all of it. Those who received “the Knowing” from Jesus and his predecessors called it “the second baptism” among the number of jewish sects at that time.(don’t think that is mentioned in the old or new testament, but Elaine Pagels who wrote “The Gnostic Gospels a devout christian, who has devoted her professional career to physical scientific research has discovered the term in many places)

    So as we eat to nourish, we would need to connect to that within us that sustains our life, in order to be fully nourished and to savor that Love.

    The combination therefore of appreciating life on it’s face and the intimacy with it’s kindness AND it’s capacity, eliminates the fear of death and the fear of what will happen scenario, because you already know and go there everyday. Same Love, same incredible gratitude, just a change of scenery.

    Problem is we relate to “God” like we do to each other – cause and effect, action and reaction. What do I deee-serve? That comes from behavior oriented control and making God the whipper. Rather in our own ignorance and largely from those who regulate our lives we invite and then suffer our own condemnation – almost, not quite masochistically…or adopt some austerity or victimology rationale. We all feel a little better when we categorize creating our little boxes of understanding…where we also place that which sustains and is life itself!!

  • 469. cag  |  April 4, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Be True, quotes from ancient texts that are full of errors are meaningless. Anyone can make claims, that does not make them true. You could quote the entirety of the bible and it would not be convincing. Just as your 911 is not convincing.

    Remember that the bible is the claim, not the evidence. You have not provided any evidence, only made claims. Being old does not make true. How much credence shall we give to the Iliad, after all it is older than the bible. If it isn’t clear to you, we reject the claim the same as we reject homeopathy.

  • 470. Anonymous  |  April 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Cag: He who speaks – speaks, he who chooses not to listen, listens not. if I was directing to you I would be speaking to you. Now you are but a thorn in the flesh, get behind me. I rebuke your comments as it is not based in love, for love is illuding you.

  • 471. Alban  |  April 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Be True: You must distinguish on a practiclal level, forget for an instant the writings – you were not there, nor did you write them, so they are not your experience. Jesus did not become The Christ until the last 3 1/2 years of his life. That is a fact in theology and even admitted probably begrudgingly by the catholic church.

    So what is The Christ? It is the ability to see and to connect to the soul of a person, not like Kreskin or a psychic reading their minds or pulling their names out of thin air. That is a gift (in some cases) I believe but it’s for show, akin more to entertainment value.

    That ability is far beyond our categorical prowess, but that power termed the Christ’ as differentiated from what the ‘new agers’ call christ consciousness is unique in that it can connect the awareness the soul has to the source of life that sustains the entire person, not in a vague or mystical way. This is apart from imagination. It is there period.

    Imagination and mysticism, like skepticism comes and goes. When the source of life comes to the soul and the body, we call it ‘birth’. When the source of life goes, ‘death’. In between there are alot of breaths that come and go about 10-12000 per day. It is significant that most people are more fascinated by birth and death than they are about the sustinence of breath which is every bit as significant as arrival and departure.

    So understand the union. Life is life to the soul when joined. During that time of union is it vital to live for the 2 to be ‘married’? No.

    Would it be common sensical, if possible, for the soul to love, to touch, to embrace the life that is sustaining the soul’s existence in the human body? Yes, but without the passion to want to know, there is no apparent need to know.

    Sooner or later everyone comes to the point where they want to feel a treasurechest of happiness OR they realize the promise of the human recipe for fulfilling that contentment is only a relative pursuit. It doesn’t take world dominion, just having the simple things or winning the lottery to understand something seems missing- but it isn’t really, is it?

    That realization prompts people, some people to look for something that makes them happy perhaps out of the ordinary, since the Expectations of the ordinary weren’t met.

    To make this brief, the one who can make that connection first reminds people that it is already within them. Remember the kingdom of God is within you? (think I can find that pretty quick in the bible) And that reminder comes with a glimpse of the union, not initially as a direct experience, rather a sometimes subtle feeling of peace or joy, exhiliration, stillness or all the above but very unique, not quite like anything you’ve ever felt here. But we all within hours will either relate it to something else we have experienced OR want more of what we just felt. The two outcomes generally are rationalizing the phenomena OR pursuit of it.

    So before Jesus became The Christ, he could not make that connection in the same way the teacher could. He was able to feel it, then learn/know within himself that connection…by perception, not by belief. Then when The Christ “indwelt” him he was able to deliver his message and back it up with showing!!

    When Jesus left this world, was he still The Christ? No. The living teacher has to be here breathing for the living students. Why? This is where life is. Would you want an invisible surgeon or a “doctor” reading out of a book performing heart surgery on you?

    Afterlife which is clearly (opinion) not living as we do here is the soul existing in another realm, but not with same opportunity to know life itself like we can here.

    So who knows what The Christ was doing before time began or before we thought we knew it all? Now might be the best time to get humbly acquainted with the desire to know peace, contentment whatever you wanna call it, the one that exists independent of results. The one it has been said you can be married to, that could begin as bliss and never end in that same way.

    Along the way if enough want to join in the celebration, maybe we can change the world so that celebration is living!

  • 472. cag  |  April 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Anon #470, You want to get me to believe in some bronze age superstition and you think that that is loving? I am not prepared to believe the unbelievable based on your feeling and contrary to all knowledge. There is not a shred of evidence for your disgusting, imaginary god. All the disease, hunger and agony that is heaped on a segment of humanity (mainly children in Africa) does not speak well for a loving god. I do not want to be associated with any being that corrupts love in such a depraved manner. Loving father indeed.

    I am ahead of you by nearly 2000 years. You can live in the past, I look to a future where superstitious nonsense like gods is but a curiosity in museums. I have no love for those that wish to return the world to a time when reason took a back seat to reality.

    If you want fawning over your asinine beliefs, take it to a christian site. This is a site where your stupid, antiquated, refuted delusions will get mocked and laughed at.

    If you want love, go to a site where they fake it, just as they fake piety.

  • 473. BigHouse  |  April 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    It’s sad what this site has become, I used to enjoy the discussions here.

    If any of the old regulars pass on through, are their other good sites people are particiapting in?

  • 474. ubi dubium  |  April 4, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Hey, BigHouse, glad to hear from you again. I recommend ex-christian.net – it has a lot of the good discussion and supportive atmosphere that this blog used to have. There are also active forums there.

    I also like Friendly Atheist, and there are forums for that blog too.

    (And I also like Pharyngula and Skepchick, although those are very different. Venganza.org is a lot of fun if you are in the mood for silly.)

  • 475. Be True  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:00 am

    cag: Talk about the future – it looks pretty dim. Even your scientist are predicting a dooms day. Oh I forgot the bible said that first.

    It seems that scientist always playing catch up and then want to proof the bible wrong by thinking up a illogical exuberant other theoretical abdominal explanation.

    That I know, they don’t even have to put icing on it as the father of lies will make sure people would rather believe that than the truth.

    When the scientist say don’t worry dooms day is still millions and millions of years away then if I was you I’d be scared very scared and why? because it is much closer than you think.

    I was directing my talk to Alban, it seems you just rude to interrupt and try and throw in your penny. Keep your comments to yourself as anyway they have no substance as what you believe is here today gone tomorrow.

    The truth is I know both sides. You must always remember not all Christians – in fact no Christians are born a Christian. It is a choice you make later when you have understanding. Therefore your arguments are futile as I know both sides and you are only familiar with one side – Which makes you a lessor opponent.

    Lest you learn more of the other side so you could proof to me that I am wrong. Your arguments are all one sided. Like a Judge hearing only one testimony and then making its verdict.

    You are actually illiterate. The type of comments that you make proofs your illiteracy.

    Go Learn and then come and argue, not with fickle jabs but with deep truths like proofing to me that the Resurrection is a myth. I mean you guys have all the answers – one sided yes. I can boast that I am in a better position to make a call as I have seen both sides.

  • 476. Be True  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Alban: You can’t forget the writing – if you remove the writing you then don’t believe in any history.

    These are all historical events. Come on even our calendar that we used is based on history.

    What sadness me is that you have watered down your believes to fit in with what you consider – easy to live with.

    I have proven to you that the old testament shout out what Jesus did on the cross. it speaks of the deity.

    Jeremia chapter one – says God formed him in his mother’s womb.

    You would like me to believe that Jesus our Messiah would be any different if God would do this to Jeremia, how much more unto to Christ.

    I suggest and looking into your comments that you are historical. Go check out the biggest archaeological find to date, the dead sea scrolls.

    You are so focussed on your believes and interpretations on Jesus you forget to check it against the bible – OLD and NEW Testament.

    If the Word of God says the Old Testament is a Shadow of things to come then you should make out the pattern.

    Please buddy, study-study and study some more. Question all your believes and compare it to the Word of God.


    Hos 4:6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

  • 477. Be True  |  April 5, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Ubi and Big House:

    to say?

  • 478. cag  |  April 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Be True, you come here and spread your shit on this site and then tell us to shut up when we call you on your lies. You are just another superstitious pretender, trying to sell your misdirected beliefs. Your bible proves nothing except the ignorance of an ancient Middle East populace. For you to worship ignorance is infantile at best.

    You lie when stating that people become christians

    It is a choice you make later when you have understanding.

    through understanding. Are you not aware of Sunday Schools, christian Summer camps, parental indoctrination and children in church? Why do you think that for most people their religious affiliation is the same as their parents? You are so ignorant of reality that you believe that the earth was created before the rest of the universe.

    How did Matthew 24:34 work out? Still waiting nearly 2000 years later. As to the future, who is it that refuses to listen to the scientists and instead depend on an invisible friend to “provide”? Science is working on solutions, not coming up with better prayers. If the religious worked with the scientists instead of against them this problem would have a future solution. With religious resistance, it will be that much more difficult.

    If you want to talk to Alban or bert10, take it to a christian site, not a site for sane people. Go take your piss somewhere else.

    When accusing someone of being illiterate, it would have more power if you had proof-read your illiterate screed.

    Even your scientist -> Even your scientists
    When the scientist say -> When scientists say
    dooms day -> doomsday
    I was you -> I were you
    you just rude -> you’re just rude
    It seems that scientist always -> It seems that science is always
    proof the bible -> prove the bible
    you just rude -> you’re just rude
    no Christians are born a Christian -> no Christian is born a Christian
    lessor opponent -> lesser opponent
    proof to me -> prove to me
    proofs your illiteracy. -> proves your illiteracy
    proofing to me -> proving to me

    And that is from just one of your idiotic, ignorant, illiterate postings. What is an “abdominal explanation”? Is that something others can’t stomach?

    Having imaginary friends and believing in ancient myths does not place one in a better position to see the truth. You are blinkered by your superstition which keeps you isolated from reality.

    Go play on a christian site.

  • 479. Keith  |  April 6, 2012 at 1:46 am

    I was a member of the Mormon (or LDS) church for forty years and left for purely philosophical reasons. I have never in all the years of my membership encountered anything untoward in the leadership of the church. To this day I admire and love the people I associated with in the church. I still have a deep admiration for the LDS church members for the faith they exhibit in their lives, and the way they are trying so hard to live according to the commandments, in spite of the problems and difficulties they encounter in their youth, in their marriage or in any other aspect of their existence. Mormons are just as much beset by those problems as any other sect. Calling Mormons cultists does not set them apart, because all practicing Christians are cultists. Mormon theology, based as it is upon the Bible, the Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants, just provides more guidelines and security than any other Christian religion. Nevertheless they are all human books. Is Mormonism a fraud? Of course it is along with all other Christian churches. It’s called pious fraud, because it serves—to use President Hinckley words—to make bad people good and good people better.
    My children are all adults, have their own families and are staunch members of the LDS church. Does the church promote education? Indeed it does. Educated people, if they are naive enough to believe, put up better arguments if challenged than uneducated ones, and they argue without losing their self-control.
    However, a study of the Bible alone is a troubling issue. The four gospels provide opposing views of time-lines, geography, events, misinterpretations of Old Testament verses, etc. They were written decades after the events they describe, by unknown authors. The changes made in the gospels between the oldest and the latest manuscripts run into the thousands. Nearly half of the letters ascribed to Paul, were not even written by him. There are doubts about the origins of all other epistles of the New Testament; it’s a mess of confusion. There would not be thousands of Christian sects if the Bible provided clear doctrine without contradictions. Mormon doctrine was created for the most part by a genius, Joseph Smith. He put some order in the confusion the New Testament provides. To give some examples, the incomprehensible doctrine of the trinity was revisited by Smith and put in a shape that makes sense; he gave different interpretations concerning infant baptism, original sin, and many other anomalies. The books he wrote were intended to put an end to many doubts. There are not many other Christian sect where its adherents are as well versed in their scriptures as are the Mormons
    While studying the Bible, I came to the conclusion, after reading works by Bible scholars such as Bart D. Ehrman, D.M. Murdock (aka Acharya S.), Robin Lane Fox, Earl Doherty and others, that the Bible and, therefore all of Christianity, is man-made. Why accept the Bible which was man-made and not the books by Joseph Smith that were also man-made, but make a lot more sense than the Bible alone. If you want religion in your life, the Mormons have it.
    Unfortunately science has bypassed religion, so much of what was previously accepted as truth turns out to be anything but that. Think of the DNA problem, slavery, racism, polygamy, sexism, it’s all in the scriptures.
    Is the Mormon church Christian? Of course it is! You can put almost any interpretation on the Bible, as has been done, and still call it Christian. A church is Christian if it puts Jesus Christ at the center of its worship and Mormons certainly do that.
    I have a deep respect for the Mormons and their way of life, their sincerity, their temples, their vows, which all serve to help them live better lives.
    I do hope you haven’t joined another church for that would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Study the sordid history of Christianity and find a murderous story on almost every page ever since the founding of Christianity in the fourth century. There are Bible scholars who claim that not a single book of the New Testament is authentic, and they put forth some very persuasive arguments to back them up. Welcome to the real world my friend.
    With all the doubts around us, I am sure of one thing and that is, if God exists and if there is a final judgment, the question he will put to us is not how or what we believed, but how we lived.
    Peto Semper Veritatem.

  • 480. BigHouse  |  April 6, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Thanks, Ubi!!

  • 481. Alban  |  April 8, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Keith: How we live is a quality of life issue to be definitely considered whether final judgement or not. Some believe as you may have heard, that the final judgement so to speak, comes from the individual ultimately, as the ego is left behind in the grave or in the ashes.

    So on this site one element not argued is that quality of life and how we treat each other is an overall tragedy at best. I point out that 10 commandments or not, this treatment of others is first dependant on how we treat ourselves as individuals.

    One thing that is essential to that specific care, occuring before any analysis of the do s and don’ts of our actions is understanding and utilizing our key critical asset.

    Everyone can give lip service to life – the value of it etc; but in discovering the possibility that there is a self contained component essentially dormant, science recognizes its primary status of maintaining the living process. This is not intellectual fodder. What is the difference between a living person and it’s corpse?

    Yet the consideration of existence’s other inherent as a physical reality has been all but blanketed by the catholic church for one, as authors Pagels, Ehrman and Michael Baigent have pinpointed so well in their extensive research. What is that blanketing due to ?

    An organizational fear of mass freedom perhaps? Without authority dictating how we live, is it possible for individuals, then the masses to have clarity as to what is right and wrong? More importantly and actually foundational, the desire for discovery of our,natural appreciation of the individual life must be considered.Then all life would be placed in a different context than what we survive in now.

    It will take leaders unmired in arrogance not followers bound by confusion to consider this possibility. And that is as far as intellectual goes into the conversation. The rest and residue lies in the feeling and determination to find and discover within each of us what is core essential to quality of life concerns.

    If we didn’t have cars with gas pedals we would not be going anywhere, fast, anyway. Without propulsion of individuals to know what sustains them, technology eventually will, combined with the arrogance of our current leadership, gut our civilization.

    It is the kind of experience that will humble even a hardcore skeptic in proof and in joy, NOT correction. The kind of credential that gives the devout christian a pass in the judgement zone.

    Both skeptics and adamant believers must leave a little space for this possibility. Otherwise there are no winners and losers in the war of the intellect-battles aside. Just the obvious absence of the quality of life issue extending before and beyond circumstance. And tragically a life spent, ignorant (again) of it’s greatest asset.

    Paraphrasing Alexander The Great on his deathbed, “Emptyhanded I came into this world, emptyhanded I leave” (though his armies had conquered most of the then known world)

  • 482. Keith  |  April 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks Alban. Isn’t quality of life a subjective issue? Tolerance and freedom of strife is a matter of individual choice. Life’s experiences and travails teach one the values of such tolerance and freedom of strife. The advantage of being raised in a functional family is not necessarily a guarantee for a good quality of life, but the freedom of choice is as available as it is for a person raised in a dysfunctional family. Not all persons we may call great have had the advantage of experiencing parental and/or brotherly/sisterly love. Quality of life for a person living in the United States is perceived differently than one born in, say, Ethiopia, but for both freedom of strife is a matter of choice. Similarly, a twenty-first century view of the final judgment will be vastly different from that of a sixteenth century view, but the fear instilled in human beings of a brutal scene as depicted by Michelangelo on the wall of the altar in the Sistine chapel is still very much alive especially among Roman Catholic believers. My view of the final judgment is purely imaginary and abstract. It was intended to encourage and support the Andersons in their choice to leave their church.
    Loosing oneself from a religious system one grew up in requires courage. I received that courage not of myself, but from a dear friend, who assured me that my family would not abandon me if I broke with my church, and he was right.

  • 483. bert10  |  April 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    To Alban 468 – Lost of property and jobs is loss of Prosperity. Israel was made richer before leaving Egypt…Abraham increased in prosperity in their obeissance to the Lord so did Jacob and so on. Prosperity is a blessing. I do not mean lots of wealth here which is more a curse than a blessing.

    As for going into battle there is a law when it is correct to do so. There is a difference in defending oneself from an invading army than going on the offensive. Even in defending ourselves there is the law of 4 for 4. You probably never heard of it. It is best to wait for God to give the go ahead in these matters.

    There is much of the ancient religion that become lost when the hebrews turned their backs on it. So it made them ripe for receiving a lower set of laws.

    bert10

    468. Alban | April 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Bert 10: To be fully aware – as much as possible usually helps individuals avoid what you’re describing -group karma. At this precise stage of our evolution, many who are snared-unknowingly enslaved, can become victims of their leaders decisions, I agree. I know a number of people whom I identify as ‘aware’ who managed to remain alive and safe in the 2 disasters you pinpoint

  • 484. Be True  |  April 12, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Ubi – God is calling you answer He’s call.

    Rev 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

  • 485. ubi dubium  |  April 12, 2012 at 9:17 am

    BeTrue, if that was an attempt at my passphrase, it was a dismal failure. I already told you that my passphrase was not a quote from any book, so you should have known that was wrong before you even typed it.

    Your omniscient and all-powerful god is going to have to to a better job of communicating with you than that. Or maybe you are not listening correctly. Or, maybe there is nobody is talking to you inside your head except for yourself.

  • 486. Be True  |  April 13, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Ubi,

    Only true identity can be found in Christ.

    Your pass phrase thing is a test can I explain the test for you.

    1. Without you knowing you are not asking for a phrase what you are saying is that do I believe in my identity in Christ.

    2. In questioning ones identity one can’t test cause when one succumb to the test one loose the battle.

    Do you remember the fast that Jesus did for 40 days, well check this.

    Mat 4:3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

    First he tested to see if Jesus knew his identity. Then he checked if he could forsake his identity by performing a wondrous sign.

    This is what you are asking.

    “Your omniscient and all-powerful god is going to have to to a better job of communicating with you than that. “

    You see Ubi – I am unmoved cause I know who I am and will not fall into the trap you set. Some people will find their identity in Christ and some never. I would not be on your case if I believed you did the unpardonable sin which you did not. The devil is a liar and he would like you to believe that there is no hope for you.

    There is hope for you today, He is knocking on your door.

  • 487. Alban  |  April 13, 2012 at 4:07 am

    What if the benefit had much more to do with a accepting what you already possess than what you could gain? That is a key distinction in the perspective you both seek. (again most clearly, not about right or wrong) We as a race do not need add-ons. Never have and never will. The benefits come from the acceptance, not our creation from the denial perspective. This is not brain surgery!

    Acceptance not of belief, but simply of perceiving of what is there…the obvious, but it is almost if not impossible to do it alone- do not let ego get in the way. If that were not my direct lesson, I could not state it as such. Maybe that’s how I found this site.

    I appreciate the possibility of expressing this possibility. I came in from the other side of skepticism. Knew what I wanted was here just could’nt understand why it seemed so hard to find…

  • 488. ubi dubium  |  April 13, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Without you knowing you are not asking for a phrase what you are saying is that do I believe in my identity in Christ.

    No, that’s not what I am saying at all! I don’t give a flip about what you believe! I care about what’s real. Wishful thinking does not change reality.

    There are thousands of religions out there, all with believers just as sincere as you. There are thousands of evangelists, and they all say different things. They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong.

    There have been thousands of gods people have believed in throughout history. I think they are all fictions, made up by humans. You probably think that too, except for the one you believe in. Somehow that one’s different, or so you claim.

    Why believe in your god instead of Thor? Why not Xenu? How about Kuan Yin? Krishna? I have exactly as much evidence for your god as for Pikkiwokki, the New Guinean mud god. (I actually have better evidence for the existence of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, but I don’t believe in her either).

    The challenge is for you to show that your god is not fictional. In return I get excuses and quotes from your ancient book of mythology. You sound just like all the rest of the religion pushers out there. Just so much pious noise with no content.

    Pass-phrase or buzz off.

  • 489. Alban  |  April 14, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Ubi, interesting to consider that in the absence of ‘knowing’ (ie; tangibly perceiving within what has no beginning and no end, religion (faith based belief) is continually reinventing itself.

    And it is not a bad thing. It encourages a reverence toward what is not known and comforts those seeking the benefits of “choosing wisely” (Last Crusade) although without the impeccable inner connection…kinda like hedging bets,investing in the future with solace and relative assurance in the present.

    It would constitute pure hypocracy if present tense knowing (vs.believing you know) crumbled into religion. But it never happens that way. It is always the knowing that disappears when the teacher passes away. The truly connected find the new teacher, the new inspirer/revealer. The others who stopped perceiving within, create with “good intention” in essence, a memorial to THEIR love for the departed teacher. They cannot replicate the love that the departed one could inspire and reveal, deferring again to the path of least resistence. (accepting the past and holding out on hope for the future vs. facing the present moment.

    There is a degree of ‘rightness’ in what they are saying to you, but what small faction is accurate is second hand knowledge. You want to know and religion will not reveal what you seek, so do not be frustrated with the faithful. Their messages to you are the best they have available.

    On the other hand maybe it is time you curtail the complaining. We call that Waa (pronounced wanh) Seems you relish your adopted identity as a skeptic while you state you care about what is real. You are alive I’m assuming, in that seeming contradiction.

    So which one is an add-on? The skeptic or the one who is alive? I can ask similiarly to Be True, christian or alive? Which one is real.. What you have become OR…. what you are?

    Always gotta go back to basics if you really care about what is real. Even Vince Lombardi would introduce the football itself before the first practice of summer camp in spite of all the championships of the Packers. One of the players, Max McGee used to ask him to slow down.

    The best students begin in their caring of what is real however by understanding that all their previous intellectual and otherwise knowing has nothing to do with that stated pursuit, an entirely different type of knowledge. Ooh..waa-woo..could become a hit tune!

    Are you able to take that position or do you just know so much that it would be impossible to find any remnant of humility within inside of all your character asassination, defending that precious add-on identity?

    So understand the distinction of what you know vs.what you don’t know (that you could know if you really wanted…and doesn’t require the use of a large magnifying glass.

    Heck, I could be wrong. Maybe skepticism is the answer. Problem is that when you and Cag pass on there will be others that claim they are like you so the faithful skeptics would need to perserve your memory perhaps create some ritual, write something that everyone could repeat over and over perserving your memory and hope for all future skeptics, the D-C creed perhaps?

  • 490. cag  |  April 15, 2012 at 1:04 am

    religion (faith based belief) is continually reinventing itself.

    Alban, you worded this wrong, religion is not reinventing itself, it is trying to stay in the shadows to avoid knowledge. If the christian holy book is true, then it was true 500 years ago and it will be true
    in 500 years. What is there to reinvent, except the excuses for why the biblical message is so contradictory. We already know that what passes as true in the bible is just myth and faulty conjecture. Even the religious know this, so they have to come up with fancy excuses (Apologetics) to overcome the inadequacy of their farcical book.

    We are skeptics of the false claims of the religious. I would go further and claim that we are correct when we expose the lies of religion, and specifically the bible. Earth before the sun, day before the sun, talking snakes, superstitious drivel and on and on. The bible is just fiction posing as fact. We understand that having blatant dishonesty exposed is considered iconoclastic by the deluded, and will be challenged so that the delusion can be kept intact. There will be a small percentage of religious that have secret doubt and we aim to feed the doubt. I do not agree that just because the religious did not reason their way into religion they can’t reason their way out. We will shine a light for them.

    When we pass on, others will not claim to be like us, they will be more numerous and they will be your neighbors. We do not need rituals, we do not need myths, we do not need a book filled with folly, all we need is truth.

  • 491. Alban  |  April 15, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    What I didn’t point out is the advertising LDS is doing on TV in certain regions and it’s efforts over the last 10-12 years to recruit via family tree interests. Plus I have never seen such a multiplicity of LDS and Jehovah’s Witnesses walking neighborhoods and with such expert ability to break potential ‘walls’ down. The reinvention I referred to follows the catholic rituals in Latin being excluded in the 80’s?

    Point wasn’t substance change, rather more creative and innovative approach techniques to attract recruits. Even the “Celebrate” Churches (evangelical) are reaching out with modern music nearly dominating services, essentialy advertising entertainment…what ever happened to “The Peace that passes all understanding”?

    The various christian churches that laid claim to that phrase all but stopped using it in the 70’s. Why? It was like a fairy tale that lost it’s clout…no more hope in citing something invisible-unfeelable-unknowable in direct intimacy…belief in the second- third -fourth etc; hand wasn’t selling seats. now alternative interests backdoor the faithful, diversionary stand-ins for what cannot and could not ever have been provided in belief.

    So where is The Peace that passes all understanding? Hard to believe it is within each of us but that particular claim goes way back before Muhammed, Christ, Buddha even before Krishna. They all stated it. Guess you’d have to “see it to believe it”.

    So Cag what would be the mindset of the inquiring potential discoverer? Could it beneficially enlist a little more open-mindedness than flat out doubt, perhaps a sprinkling of humility amidst a sea of arrogance, a little availability to listen rather than a penchant for hearing the melody of your own demands over your own limitation to know in the way it has been described to you?

    Would you need shovels to dig, a book written by 500 yr old men 500 years in the future, magnifying glasses to discern, physical matter placed on a tray to pick apart to determine whether or not you have god inside you (not that we’re god(s) – we are not) or do you have something already in you as well that is perfectly capable of determining what is more profound, more beautiful and more expansive than anything you could have ever set your imagination to ?

    Yes, you do, believe it or not. And if you tried to describe it to future neighborhood skeptics they’d probably, like the legends of Cag and Ubi Dubium call it ‘woo’ as well, not because it is, but because it is inexplicable. Words can’t describe the glory. You can feel it and perceive in tangibly that”s T-A-N-G-I-B-L-Y and it is not emotional, BUT it’s there, more so than all the apparent laws of this universe…sorry I’m jumping ahead…can’t say enough for the fundamentals, Max McGee or not.

    Just remember when you ask for something, be careful, you might just get it. Sometimes there’s a purposeful ‘hitch’ in the answer or the wish coming your way. There’s an ancient story that illustrates this.

    A very wealthy man bought a small farm and buried the vast treasure of his life in a box and buried it on the farmland. He had 3 small sons that he raised on this farm. He never told them about the box or the wealth in it that he had accumulated. What he did tell them was to keep working the land, that all the wealth they would want was in the land.

    When the man died the sons had all grown weary of working the farm and sold it. The buyer of the farm saw the value in the farm’s potential and worked the land diligently. The 3 sons spent the money they received and the new owner eventually found the treasure. Had the sons continued to follow Dad’s advice they could’ve then sold the land splitting up the treasure.

    Are we entitled to know God (if there is one) or might it better suit a certain dignity, if we present humbly to want to know our treasure in both sincerety and diligence? Or can we be told straight away time and time again where the treasure is and not only disregard it, but then lose interest in it?

    The farmer was wise. If he had told his 3 sons he had buried the treasure somewhere on the property, what would have followed? There would be no understanding of what that treasure meant, how valuable it was, how hard it was to get in the first place.

    And the ones who understand will be the ones who will be the neighbors…the ones who find and invest time in Truth. Afterall, Truth gives us 24/7, so what’s a little time to invest within yourself? (if truth is there) Prove it to yourself and stop putting it off on others.

    The silver platter doesn’t get any shinier?

  • 492. cag  |  April 16, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I don’t do woo, I don’t do spiritual. I do not look for what is not there. We are but animals who have through replication mistakes in DNA developed the ability to think. That also gives us the ability to make up BS. All religions are false, regardless of what name they go under. All supernatural belief is superstition. All search for purpose is bound for failure for we have no other reason for being than survival. Everything else is extra. What is the purpose of the flu virus? Cockroaches have been here longer than humans. What grand purpose do they serve?

    As long as I’m here (the odds of which seem quite astronomical but ended up 1:1) I shall seek truth, not Truth. I’m not interested in your Truth as you have been unable to convey what your Truth is. Your ability to express your message is at the same level as the bible, that is, unbelievable.

  • 493. Be True  |  April 16, 2012 at 7:10 am

    ubi: 488:

    There have been thousands of gods people have believed in throughout history. I think they are all fictions, made up by humans.You probably think that too, except for the one you believe in.

    Disagree, there is one True Way, the others are all of the devil’s doing to mislead people in believing they are on the Right Path, this actually is a deceitful spirit.
    Grace and Mercy, this is the only reason you are even still here, therefore I believe there is Hope for you!

  • 494. cag  |  April 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Be True, those gods you so derisively dismiss were believed just as fervently as you believe in your imaginary friend. People were killed for not believing in the gods you have correctly identified as false. You have no evidence for the veracity of your sky pal, who is dismissed by other religions such as those practiced by the majority in India. How many thousands of “one True Way” are there?

    Actually Grace and Mercy (adult movie stars?) had nothing to do with me being here – Mom and Dad however…. Oh, you were referring to that omnipotent (sic) (sick) monster who is omnipresent so should be inside me so it shouldn’t be such a challenge to meet with me one on one. Your god is so powerful that a mere “fallen angel” can thwart its plans. Not impressive.

    Until you accept that there are no gods, no devils, no angels, no supernatural entities there is no hope for you. Cast off the lies and do not let others think for you. Your bible makes claims. These claims are not evidence, the only thing they prove is the ignorance of ancient scam artists.

  • 495. Be True  |  April 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

    cag:

    Your god is so powerful that a mere “fallen angel” can thwart its plans. Not impressive

    You obviously do not understand the Book. It is hence this decision to choose the right path that makes us not robots but created in God’s image, It is in the choice Mr. Anderson.

    Choose life! the Bible is clear wide is the road to destruction and many will go that path, yet all of them at any given time would have been given the choice, just like you are given the choice, but hey don’t listen to warning – just continue as you are Sergeant. If I am wrong in your eyes I will return to dust just like you will, but if I am right then you could make a huge mistake, eternity is a very long time – considering our lives is a mere blip on a radar screen.

  • 496. cag  |  April 17, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Christians, get your act together. Is your god invisible or just a supersized version of a human (created in god’s image). We get so many contradictory declarations of what god is like that it is obvious that no one came up with a satisfactory lie when the fiction was written. God is love, god is vengeful, god loves its meat extremely well done. Everything is possible in fiction,but fiction is not compelling. Do you not understand that the bible is the claim, not the evidence? I put more faith in Aesop’s Fables than the bible.

    Your version of Pascal’s Wager is no more persuasive than any of the myriad other forms. Go cry wolf somewhere else, it is not selling here. There is no afterlife, no heaven, no hell. There are only people with a financial interest telling lies in return for lucre from a gullible following.

    Why don’t you and the rest of the Ovis aries flock off.

  • 497. Be True  |  April 17, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Cag:

    Why all so defensive, this means nothing to you anyway, what is this old Preacher on about. Why was 11 of the twelve apostles willing to die for it, horrendous deaths, could it be mass hypnosis, or could there have been something they knew? If all they were living for had good fruits why would the world kill them for it? Surely the world wants peace? Like the 10 commandments are good principles are it not?

    If I tell you Jesus loves you and want you to be with Him, why would that be such an disgrace to you, as everybody wants to have a sense of belonging. Even you as atheists wants to belong, you do pick the wrong crowd though. These so called friends you have none of them will really help you in your our of need, this is contrary to true Christians that is there for each other.

    You keep convincing yourself of your mortality, yet do not even realize that you are immortal. What makes you – you. What even makes you argue and why does your arguments mean anything. You cling to your religion as to affirm that death is inevitable and darkness will be the end of you, what happens if the light can’t be switched off. If what makes up you can’t be undone?

  • 498. cag  |  April 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    Be True, there are people like you in this world who spread lies and want to force the rest of us to live by those lies. I have no desire to live according to some ancient rules. I live in the twentyfirst century, not the first.

    Over 900 people died for Jim Jones. Does that make him over 80 times more holy than your imaginary saviour jesus? Religions have been killing for control for thousands of years. The Romans killed christians trying to force them into submission. Christians have done the same, some muslims still do.

    What do the 10 commandments have to do with living a good life? Oh, the last 6 commandments were cribbed from others, the first 4 are just for cult control. I reject knowingly and finally all of the first 4 commandments. There are no gods.

    If jesus loves me, let him come to me. I do not love jesus. What is he, some kind of shy stalker? According to some christians your jesus is a homicidal maniac who will be coming back to kill, kill, kill. I can do without such love. Fortunately, jesus is just the product of an ancient BSer and won’t be coming back. If I am in real need, it is humans that will help, not your murderous friend.

    I am no more immortal than you or the chicken I had for dinner last week. You are living in a fantasy world if you think that there is something after death. It might be comforting to believe in an afterlife but that does not make it true. There is not an iota of evidence for what you are promoting. All that will be left of me after death are memories, images and some recycled atoms. I will be an entry in someones genealogy project.

    Day dreams do not reality make. Bibles do not truth make.

    In comment 475 you accused me if being illiterate. I would suggest that someone who only reads one book fits that description better than someone versed in basic science. I suggest you read some real, non-fiction, books. Books that explain how things really work. Your bible does not offer anything that advances knowledge.

  • 499. Alban  |  April 18, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Sorry Cag, have to jump in here. Jesus is not coming back, but that doesn’t stop The Christ element that indwelt him from spreading the message of possibility and then backing it up with revelation.

    There was a time when people who were sincerely interested had to give up everything they were attached to, externally to exhibit sincere desire to be shown the the knowing of what has no beginning and no end. This was and is a physical reality.

    Thankfully we no longer exist in that time, but now we have a worldwide dilemma of unconciousness that makes it as dark and seemingly impossible-more so than it’s ever been.

    And how is the one who empowers all of us greeted before given the opportunity to inspire the interest, clarify the purpose or reveal physically what is within us that is without beginning or end and actually sustaining not just our individual lives, but all life be they amoeba, plants, trees, mountains, beasts or arrogant – possibly hopeless human beings who time after time think that the race in and of itself will find a way to restore an ancient sanity/ quasi utopia or establish one that has seemingly never existed?

    With extreme indifference, no courage, no belief in ourselves but gestapo like investigation, “papers please”. It’s all well and good to be an individualist but when an offering is offered freely to intimately physically tangibly know what you claim is an invisible God, you don’t have religion to hide behind. And your ego only has so long to show your spite filled, smart alec cahones until your last breath expires, kickin’ n screamin’ for proof of God’s existence, when it’s been laid out pretty clearly to you… just not in the way you’d like it to be because it doesn’t get impressed by our scientific folly or it’s demonstrated advances -can you understand that? It does however get surprised…and does surprise us!

    So Cag, you can have your proof, but you got to eat some humble pie first, just like me and a whole bunch of other people have…in a simple way that is dignified, really not at all humiliating, but humble nevertheless. Believe that.

    Do you recall when I pointed out that the bowing of knees wouldn’t be about humility, but in the acceptence of inexplicable joy? If Be True is reading this, that might intimate to him something akin to, if not in fact, rapture.

    No circus. No correct religion. Just a simple, not a complicated understanding – from the daily acceptence of a direct physical experience. And how something so huge can be contained in something so small – which is so limited in it’s capacity to contemplate existence let alone cast stones at it.

  • 500. Be True  |  April 18, 2012 at 7:11 am

    cag:
    I’ll have you know that I know perhaps more than you think. I have knowledge of the following:
    1. Bible, Torah, Quran
    2. Interstellar evolution theories
    3. Micro biological evolution theories
    4. Rock formation and dating techniques and theories
    5. Fossil dating theories.
    6. Carbon dating theories
    To name a few. Have you heard of the Circular theories method?
    1. Dating of rock formation at 150mil years ago theory
    2. fossil dating of 130mil years ago theory
    so if 1+2 is found in the same location then it has to be fact thus claiming 2 theories become fact.
    Have you noticed that dinosaur bones ever found less than 200 meters below the surface of the earth, but no fossil fuel ever found less than 2km below the earth where is the in between?
    Now that you know I am not so illiterate than you think on the subject of evolution or dating, can you please answer this simple question?

    What does it mean to be “Born Again” referred to in John 3?

    It is probably the most simplest of biblical teachings if you claim to be knowledgeable on biblical matters then please do not hesitate to answer this one.

  • 501. cag  |  April 18, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Alban, your god does not exist, therefore all your blathering comes to nothing.

    Be True, your erroneous conclusion that earth was created before the sun tells me all I need to know about your alledged knowledge. As to dinosaurs and oil, have you never heard of folding? No one has explored for any fossils at that depth.

    “Born Again” is a sales slogan that means nothing to the atheist.

  • 502. Be True  |  April 19, 2012 at 2:24 am

    cag:

    Neanderthal Man No longer considered to be pre-man.

    Neanderthal is fully human but believed to have suffered from rickets due to malnutrition.

    Cro-Magnon Man Proven to be completely human and there is clear evidence of religious practices and artistic creativity. This so-called pre-human co-existed with contemporary man.

    Piltdown Man Proven to be a deliberate hoax and no longer accepted by evolutionary scientist, however it is still taught in many school textbooks as a missing link.

    Java Man Proven to be a deliberate hoax and no longer accepted by evolutionary scientist, however it is still taught in many school textbooks as a missing link.

    Nebraska Man An entire skeletal structure was created from a single tooth and heralded as the discovery of the missing link by evolutionary scientist. Additional research has proven that this tooth was actually the tooth of an extinct pig. This missing link was abandoned by evolutionary scientist but as always it is still taught as truth by evolutionary educators.

    Zinjanthropus Proven to be a primitive ape and has no ties to modern man or human development.

    Lucy Considered to be related to the arboreal ape. No evidence has been found that can tie this to modern man nor human development. However, lack of evidence does not deter evolutionist from declaring Lucy to be a missing link. Evidence is not essential (See Nebraska Man).

    Australopithicines Computer analysis show this is an extinct ape. No evidence exists that connect this to human development.

    Archaeopteryx This toothed bird is often seen in evolutionary lessons and is explained as a missing link showing the connection between birds and reptiles. Further study has shown that this bird was fully capable of flight. Teeth alone do not prove relationships between reptiles and birds. All birds are warm blooded for example, while all reptiles are cold blooded. The complete incompatibility between these two anatomy structures create a mountain of evidence that can’t be overlooked because this ancient bird had teeth.

    One last missing link that bears mentioning is the Coelacanth. This was strongly considered by evolutionary scientist to be an index fossil linking early cretaceous which were considered to have become extinct over 80 million years ago. Recently living specimens have been found near Madagascar. These were declared by evolutionary scientist to be the ancestors to amphibians, but the living specimens have eliminated this ‘fact’ as they are proven to be a true fish and not amphibians nor do they have amphibious traits.

    What you guys make out as fact can not be proved true as much as scientist efforts are concerned. Your logical mind that interpret things which sounds logically can’t be proven. It should seem easy, but because things did not happen the way you think it can’t be proven.

    Take the sun for instance how did that appear there lets take Wikipedia explanation

    Stellar evolution is not studied by observing the life of a single star, as most stellar changes occur too slowly to be detected, even over many centuries. Instead, astrophysicists come to understand how stars evolve by observing numerous stars at various points in their lifetime, and by simulating stellar structure using computer models.

    So as you can see your interpretation is a theory created by an computer, I am a computer developer I can make it do whatever I tell it to do. Don’t gloat like you have won – In fact my heart goes out to you cause you have just lost, your salvation.

  • 503. ubi dubium  |  April 19, 2012 at 7:42 am

    I wasn’t going to reply to you any more, but that was just too laughable. Don’t try to rebut science, when it’s obvious that you are getting your “science” information from religious sources, and outdated ones at that! Java Man? Zinjanthropus? I haven’t heard a paleontologist use those terms for like 30 or 40 years. If you had cracked a real science book, you’d know that those are homo erectus (probably ancestral) and australpithecus bosei (not ancestral, just a cousin), “Rickets”! You sure have not done much looking at ancient skeletons! Neaderthal skeletons were more robust than a modern humans, not frail and diseased as they would be with “rickets” Rickets is also caused by a vitamin D deficiency, which would not have been a problem for migatory hunters who would have gotten lots of sunshine.

    And what is it with you fundies and this “Nebraska Man”? I’ve read great volumes of paleontology, especially human origins, and I’d never heard of that until some evangelical started thumping on it. I went and looked it up. Back in the 1920’s some guy found a tooth that he thought might have been human. Within a few years more bones had been found which clearly identified it as a pig. That was the end of it, and that’s why you don’t see this in any real science book. When you try pointing at “Nebraska Man” real scientists laugh at you, because you’ve just shown that you don’t know what you are talking about.

    I won’t comment on the rest of your stuff, because it was all as inaccurate as the part I mentioned. If we tried to get you to stop believing in Jesus because he couldn’t fit down all those chimneys to deliver presents on christmas morning, we’d be about as convincing as you just were. You’ve been fed a bunch of rubbish designed to be convincing to those who already believe. Don’t ever try quoting it at someone who is scientifically literate, not if you ever want them to take you seriously.

    Speaking of which, has your omniscient god told you my pass-phrase yet?

  • 504. Be True  |  April 19, 2012 at 8:07 am

    Ubi: you crack me up – all your scientists and knowledge of evolution is based on theories, none proven to date – and I know why!

    But hey if you read it over and over again you may believe it to be fact.

    if you don’t believe me give me a fact that is not based on a theory.

  • 505. ubi dubium  |  April 19, 2012 at 9:32 am

    OK. Fact: You have yet to produce my pass-phrase.

  • 506. cag  |  April 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Be True, I can give you a non-fact based on ignorance – “In the beginning god made the heaven and the earth”… and then the rest of the universe on day 4. Even the most severe case of suspension of disbelief will not make that believable.

    Your cut and paste from exchangedlife.com even contains the same grammatical errors as the original. Not a reputable source, but then again it is in support of a disreputable imaginary deity. My only question is, did you come up with the cut and paste yourself or was it from your minder?

  • 507. Be True  |  April 20, 2012 at 6:56 am

    no takers then?

  • 508. Be True  |  April 20, 2012 at 7:09 am

    I never professed to have not copied or pasted it nor that I have physically been involved with any of these findings. Or where you (Cag) there when they dug up the remains or perhaps you have read it somewhere and have commented on others investigation. All your sources is based on other peoples so called theoretical findings and documentation, now you want to discredit other peoples findings.

    Is your reading capability anything different than mine – you make me laugh, you are a hypocrite. Rather than living in your dream world. Why don’t you give a fact in your endless wisdom o master of ape. so we can see how strong your fact holds up to theory.

  • 509. cag  |  April 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Be True, The site you copied from without attribution is what is considered a zealot site. The person behind it is not interested in truth, only in proving that fiction is true. This is not what any reputable researcher would classify as worthy of anything but debunking (thanks, Ubi). In order to determine the most logical explanation, the explanation that fits reality, one must have multiple sources from reputable, impartial investigators. Your source is neither.

    You believe that the universe was created in 6 days and 5 of those days were spent creating earth and its flora and fauna. Can you not see the absurdity in this? Billions of galaxies, trillions of stars, countless planets and all that “created” in less than 20% of the time to create the earth? The sun is over 330,000 times the mass of the earth. The sun is an average star, the size of which was unknown in “biblical” times. The visible stars (about 6000) were considered as no more significant than a candle at a distance. This is the “knowledge” behind the genesis fiction, fiction that you accept as true.

    I understand the meaning of SIWOTI, do you? We are all ignorant, there being so much to know. What is different between us is the way we seek what is the best explanation. I do not accept biased information. All information on a religious site is biased, and usually the product of someone not versed in the subject being “debunked”.

    Science is always trying to improve knowledge, that is why research is a continuing process. Scientists do not accept the first assertion that gets written into a book. They take the assertion and try to disprove it. Only if it cannot be disproved does it get conditional acceptance. Nothing is off limits in scientific research, nothing is sacred. Scientists are trying to disprove Einstein. Newton’s pronouncements were challenged by Einstein. That is the way science works. The bible is static in its ignorance, it appears that you are too.

  • 510. Be True  |  April 21, 2012 at 4:45 am

    So disprove Genesis. So what we need is in the textbooks that so readily want to proof that evolution is the key to earth and galaxies as we know it, how come it never states that it is possible that it all could have been created from a Deity. I know why? that just goes beyond natural thinking, and that is exactly where God operates.

    It is simple to mock things that go against your believes. This struggle to proof this side and to proof that side is endless. You forever going to stand on your believes and so am I.

    One thing is sure, both are beliefs, you gotta pick what you believe in. I know if my believes are accurate then I have a great pension plan. If your beliefs are true then you don’t have a good pension plan.

    Believe me humans are made up of Body, Soul and Spirit. Yes the natural body that people are putting so much effort in will decay. But what about your Soul and Spirit are they also confined to death?

  • 511. Alban  |  April 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I think, therefore I am?… or is it in reverse? All of you want to be right and proving the existence of God (within, of course) isn’t about right or wrong or about how much prerequisite knowledge exists. That foundation is like a sand castle sitting in it’s glory at low tide.

    When the tide comes in (high tide) there is nothing left to debate. It is almost embarassing to argue structure when that structure is merely temporary in the context of what has no beginning and no end, is it not?

    And life is like that, whether you choose rollercoasters or tides as the analogy…what is the eternal moment – the witnessing/participation of the moment in all it’s passion, or the physical result of conjecture?

    Believe me, the results if you are interested, can be completely different. One has you as conscious, the other as unconscious with lots of rationale (excuses or blame) God is an easy pivot – point for explanation on both sides of not knowing.

    One way you can be functional while enjoying the infinite, the other, you become a slave to the timing and the default of the big or specific unconscious picture, thus honing your skills in rationalization, exercising ego and it’s prowess on either side of not knowing to back up it’s own ignorance (justification)

    Then in this case the better argue-er wins…thus our world’s current dilemma (throw in a little force for effect or theatre). Bottom line, the outcome sucks and is non effectual.

  • 512. cag  |  April 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Genesis is so ridiculous that it debunks itself. Five of six days to create earth, just what would be expected from a combination of ignorance and story telling. Why is it that the outcome for those who pray is no better than those that dont? How can an omnipotent, loving being allow millions of children to die of hunger, more millions to die of disease? Why would an earth created for us have earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, pandemics and all sorts of misadventure? The answer is simple, there is no god, there are no gods. Twothousand years on and still no evidence.

  • 513. Alban  |  April 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I didn’t want to go here because the response is a mixture of legend and Truth which isn’t 100% accurate. If you dilute Truth, it is Truth no longer. So this is a conjecture cocktail in the origin aspect anyway.

    Using Adam + Eve as symbolism…the consequences of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, among others like short lifespans and disease included the base result of guiding our own ship. No longer accepting the love of the Creator in terms of specific guidance eliminated direct access (internal union) and the blanket protection of that divine power.

    God however built in a safeguard knowing the human race would 100% fail miserably. That safeguard which to this day is still in place puts internal union and resulting potential for divine intervention in the person of one breathing individual who can open again that acceptence of internal union to the sincere. That does not make him God, but the vessel to help each of us back onto a sovereign one on one ground with God (who gives us life) (Still do not like that label as it mixes the overall power with a wishing well status)

    Now the divine intervention isn’t a lightning bolt from the outer dimension of Heaven. It is the wish itself for the application of that internal union by enough people that the gratitude of the acceptence (even in the wish state) can override the ignorance not only of the garden but the devolving ignorance since then as well.

    So Cag, in my opinion from that specific experience of my union in this life (still subject to the errors of tying history together) yes God could remedy all the tragedy in an instant, BUT that wasn’t the arrangement. At this point it is our (collective) fiduciary resposibility or aka our “stewardship” without internal union that guides the ship.

    So ultimately now, no it is not God’s choice for tragedy that reigns. It is our own collective ignorance, including things like fracking and industrial pollution of air and water directed by greed and power (and accepted by us) that causes birth defects, starvation, natural disasters, cruelty and the direct plus collaterall damages of conflict.

    Most of all, it is the absence of the wish to know – to want to accept in the real and the obvious way what has no beginning and no end. NOT for what it can do circumstantially, but because it is our inherent union! And we’ve invented ways to simulate that or in some cases ignore it, resulting in no fulfillment (number one tragedy) and the blind leading the blind into the slow agonizing strangulation we are putting squarely in the hands of our governments.

    So full circle for me here. Started out talking about the wish to know. Believers think they’re there and skeptics I guess believe there is no opportunity because nothing is actually there to give it, though each individual in each group gets about 10-14000 breaths per day without a manual or a bunson burner to prove it. Just you, your awareness and your willingness to want to know and some breathing help that is always present…now much more accessible than ever before.

    Cag, I hate to be the “lackey” here but I’ve been called worse (demon spirit) even on this site and in other places, but my writings on this site should silence your venom on your wish for specific contact with you. I hope I’ve exemplified to a great extent, the kindness, the humility and the dignity to which I have been privy for the last 37 years. You can consider it, pretty direct. Fun for the most part but critical to the part in you that is understandibly frustrated.

    The intent of the torch-bearer is not always what it seems on the surface. And you bear a signicant torch. That is not overlooked.

  • 514. cag  |  April 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Alban, what a load of crap. Are you claiming that everything was fine until Industrial pollution and fracking? You can make as many excuses for your fictional friend as possible, it still doesn’t make it real. All you are showing is 37 years of utter and complete ignorance of reality. You claims are empty until you present irrefutable evidence of the existence of your god. Millions have spent years trying to find such evidence to no avail. In just the USA, the number of clergy, active and retired is over half a million. What a waste of human potential. God certainly is not an omnicommunicator, or there would be no need for the scammers. Of course, god certainly is not.

    If your god or your jesus wants to convince me, they can come to me, I won’t come to them. Not holding my breath on being contacted by your imaginary friends.

  • 515. Alban  |  April 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Oops, forgot to mention wars, famine, pestilence, disease -all emanating from ignorance of the divne.

    As to your last point, sometimes the water finds the thirsty. No thirst, then the ‘water’ has no value anyway. Maybe you’re not thirsty…more bitter perhaps within your tunnel vision of societal inequity/tragedy, unable to see those contradictions within your ownself. And most significantly the apparent lack of any desire to know all of yourself – good with the logic, reasoning and sharp responses…just not aware of any treasure waiting in an unlabeled existence right under your nose.

    Because you bring water to the horse or bring the horse to water doesn’t mean he’ll or she’ll want to drink…even if that horse could somehow demand that possibility be given.

  • 516. cag  |  April 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Until you have valid, solid, replicable evidence that your god exists, you have nothing. As yet no evidence for god has been offered, two thousand years on. A whole bunch of excuses for why god doesn’t do anything does not constitute evidence.

    How can anyone be ignorant of that which does not exist? I dont live in woo land, I live in reality land. I have not lost anything by not living in fantasyland. Someone restrained by their slavish worship of a fictional book and the wish for the supernatural to be true , should be more concerned about going to hell for the smallest misstep than an atheist living the good life. I have no fear of your heaven, and no aspiration for hell. When I die it is over for me, others will remember me, mostly fondly, but I will not know for there is no life after death, as much as you may wish it were so.

    God, a security blanket for the gullible.

    How many gods have to be discredited before you realize that your god is no different than all the others?

  • 517. Alban  |  April 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    The valid, solid evidence you put out as a condition of far-fetched consideration is already inside you and can be accessed directly by you.

    It is not in the mode of replication! That is what religion is. (the highest form of flattery is imitation) The evidence is sovereign and obvious, unique in every way to what we think we know or believe we know about this subject.

    Analogously, if I put a one trillion dollar gold note in your pocket without your knowing and told you it was there, you would, no doubt be arguing your perception of it’s value along with doubt of it’s actual existence… without reaching into your pocket.

    If really interested, you could reach into the pocket and feel the note. Yet it is not in full view or of full benefit until you pull it out. Then and only then can you decide how to spend it or invest it…or even hypothesize its value.

    This subject is much more profound in a physically experiential and in it’s ensuing discovery mode than debating the existence of G-O-D. It is much bigger with the view and the benefit.

    Perspective alas, is everything.

  • 518. cag  |  April 24, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Alban, your BS alas, is nothing. Your word salad signifies nothing.

  • 519. Alban  |  April 24, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I think it’s “full of sound and fury signifying nothing”. I like the expression, “he who slights the horse, will often buy it”. At least it will occupy a small corner of what could temporarily be an annoying reminder…hard to shake especially without guilt or second guessing, and possibly morphing later into opportunity.

    Remember this isn’t about right or wrong. Get out of that mode for a minute and ask yourself what is it that you really want in life? There’s nothing wrong with skepticism for as long as you want to hold onto it. There is even alot that is right about it.

    Can you dare though, to step out of that relative security, that familiar turf and take one step into the unknown? Do you trust yourself enough – yourself, not G-O-D, to explore a missing component, that might-just might shed some some light on something that has always prompted you but you could not sink your teeth into…answers that could come in your own realization, NOT what other people tell you or replications of patterned belief or DISBELIEF.

    So Cag face yourself, not what you believe or do not believe. And if you cannot, wait.

    I think for you, it is a little deeper than a contention. The solution is always in good timing, but not always “convenient”. I say this coming into skepticism from the opposite side and still not grocking what I was hearing. You are no more expert than I was although maybe more shelled (expert) in defense of your known domain. But each of us has a way in to the unknown familiar, that is unique to each one.

    And something, label it what you will, has an ability somehow affable-somewhat humerous inside track into that realm. I laugh now in my recountenance – I didn’t then. I took myself way too seriously…knowing the stakes were high…my expectations were very high – not non existent, but like you, I could not believe what I was hearing. But the feeling was garnering (non-emotionally) my attention, not the dialogues. It intrigued me but bothered me…I eventually succeded into going beyond my analysis of those observations as that had nothing to do with what I wanted. A unique non- emotionial sense ‘felt’ or perceived within something outside the box. this was not like falling in love or within expectation of divine bliss…this was something you knew in the moment everyone had, but still somehow unique for your own individual consumption.

    Hardly scientific.

    And not for sale, just suggesting observation, or in the bigger picture, pointing to something that is there. You think you pay attention but overlook what is obvious. And that is the essence of all of our genuine ignorance. So take the consideration to the next logical level and ask yourself, is there anything in me that I have overlooked, something vital?

    The answer doesn’t come on paper or in words. When it does come it does so in a different sense and yet it is quite clear in an area that is not classically understood, a unique type of motivation perhaps illogical, but persisting. There is no box to place it in but it could be described as a yearning or a thirst.

    When that is encountered, it will challenge or at least rattle the skeptical thread. And yet it can be ignored. Richard Nixon was once quoted as saying that “when he felt the need to execise he would lie down and wait for it to pass.

    When it pushes you to act, you will – later than sooner perhaps. It is within your own timing, not something you “should” do.

  • 520. cag  |  April 24, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Alban, your sales pitch is missing something. It’s just on the tip of my fingers. Oh, yes, now I know – substance.

  • 521. Alban  |  April 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Whats fascinating beyond and before descriptions is the substance of our breath. Doing its in and out thing what, 10,000 – 12000 times a day. Glad we don’t have to think about it.

    I guess if that were missing there wouldn’t be alot to talk about. You probably term it a biological function, but some regard breathing to be like the wind in a sense, Few know from where the first came from or where the last one goes. Without the breath nothing else works. And not replicated breathing machines. When those get turned on the ‘mysterious’ breath is gone…usually for good.

    What it is that provides the breath is substantive. Certainly worth a shot at discovery. Maybe in that realm if found, a perspective of the greatest value is consumed and savored. Then many more common sense apps become available. Like recognizing substance.

  • 522. Alban  |  April 25, 2012 at 6:36 am

    cag, bottom line: better to stop highlighting differences among people and look for the common denominator instead. That truly makes a difference.

    Seeking results as the primary focus detracts from what is most important and most obvious in life, if we could take even one moment to consider seeing within ourselves, what is there. That ‘evidence’ is a no brainer when a sincere wish in humility rather than arrogance is the chariot carrying us to that consideration.

    The extreme prospects of physical armageddon or paradise hinge on that distinction as it has now for quite a long time. Will we ever tire of relativity? (the middle)

    Relativity has not been a healthy balance though it may seem so to ignorant speculation. At this juncture the status quo buys into relativity lock stock and barrel without any other apparent option.

    Yet there is one option that doesn’t draw an abundance of attention. It begins with the common denominator and some significant self reflection…pretty simple observation and analysis (no college degree required)

    That option gets distorted, people get sidetracked and resulting factions assess the sidetracking. So yes cag, accuracy with evidence is the goal, but relativity is like plaque. It has hardened our arteries and blocked our hearts. What exists then is our opinions with egos leveraging their seemingly absolute perspective.

    Will we as a race ever concede what is critical to be free? If at all, it appears to be one by one, while everyone else prioritizes favorable results without personal liberation. Does that put debate about G-O-D into another perspective or leave it in its current logjam?

  • 523. cag  |  April 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    No gods, no souls, no afterlife. Wishful thinking is unproductive. There is no supernatural. Superstition is an artifact of past ignorance. I’ll take the pursuit of knowledge over the ignorance of superstition.

  • 524. Alban  |  April 26, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Where is any productivity without inspiration. Are you suggesting that you are pursuing an uninspired knowledge?

    Please inform us cag. Where does your motivation come from – without any anti-god assertion (which up until now appears to be an inspiration for you) Maybe your expert bitterness toward this whole subject spawns motivation.

    That is still inspiration which connotes the mystery of some unknown driving force. The brain functions for each of us, but it does not choose on its own. So there is at least one independant component in addition to the brain.

    Then there is our environment, Earth where we acknowledge life and eliminate the dead in various ways. That suggests at least one more component. Maybe you are just uncomfortable with the associated labels of these components. Leave afterlife alone for now. Inspiration implies inner hope.. magical-mysterious at that

    Even a noble life full of discovery without any magic is dry.without salt, so to speak,without flavor… if there is no inspiration.

    Something terrible must have befallen you. Is it an affliction, or is your search for real answers a mechanical exercise? A vinegar salad or an R2D2 with a Don Rickle’s bent, both containing elements of inspiration despite shortcomings or contradictory nature..

  • 525. cag  |  April 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Why is it that religious people feel that here has to be some greater force directing our lives? Nothing bad has befallen me, I do not have the disease of believing that which is not true. We are animals, animals with a brain that has evolved to not only control our bodies but the ability to think and imagine. Some of us have even evolved to be able to distinguish between what we imagine and what is true. Some of us resist believing our imaginations are not true. Some of us leave it to others to provide the imagination, such as accepting the words of a religious leader.

    Why do you assume that I am bitter or had bad experiences? I would turn that around and say that you were probably indoctrinated as a child and have been unable to see the truth for the dogma. The last time I checked, I do not live in Fantasyland. I do not need magic in my life, the universe is enough of a mystery to provide all the drama my life needs. I live for knowledge, not comforting lies.

    Why does inspiration require superstitious belief, belief in gods or magic?

  • 526. Alban  |  April 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    cag – what then inspires your quest for knowledge should be simply the label, “mystery”. In terms of belief you would be no more ‘right’ in your belief there is no god than any believers in god. Call it philosophic differences. But understand your angle is no less conjecture than scriptural thumpers.

    So when imagination of your reality seems to be the standard in your own mind, there will be disagreement as your edge has no more proof than theirs. Your argument can only have evidence in people, animals, things and events that have beginnings and endings.

    The subject of contention allegedly has no beginning and no end. The only real determinant – measuring stick persay of that phenomena, deity, god, non-existent, whatever you want to call it, is, within your own self and outside of the realm of all (believed + scientific) understanding!

    All I have pointed out is that many since the beginning of recorded time have come one at a time and claim/inspire (and reveal as well) the pursuit of knowing the ‘mystery’ of what has no beginning and no end. The accepters sometimes add in all their little nuances, customs and opinions, even begin religions after the fact, which is a hinderance to posterity.

    Point is, the mystery does not have to remain so. I have known this knowledge to be coined, “the knowledge you can’t get in college”. You might as well throw in ‘edumacation’ too if you’re familiar with that.

    Superstition, magic and mysticism all are descriptions of both hypothetical fears and insight which are part of the world of belief. The world of knowing (as differentiated from belief) is fundamentally different in its inspiration.

    The ineffectiveness of human language creates the impression that this inspiration is the same as belief based inspiration. It is not.

    The discernment required to understand the difference is also inside, but there can be only openess and sincere desire brought to this table. Crutches, dependancies, assumptions cannot be present in the nakedness of this particular approach. Simple, straightforward and not easy.

    That’s why it is still and probably always a subject at this time, for individuals (wish it could be a 7 digit count) not needing group approval or concurrence from anyone. It is a sovereign journey, but not accomplished alone.

    Yes it is hard to distinguish in the belief (relativity/rationale) system between truth and imagination. Utilizing the proper tools few have the courage to tap into within themselves, the difference is obvious in the world of knowing. (yet with the humility of not being ‘know-it-alls’)

    As for my childhood I challenged my father mainly who was jesuit educated regularily about the ability we all “should have” and demanded who could tell me why it wasn’t readily availble, to know what has no beginning and no end. His most direct of answers was of course, find out when you die.

    That’s why I say I came in the other side of skepticism, but a skeptic nonetheless.

  • 527. Anonymous  |  June 5, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Joseph Smith, Jr. has been proven to be a fraud when the world found out that his so-called translation of an ordinary Egyptian papyri death document from the past was completely wrong in every possible way in comparision to the many legitimate Egyptologists’ translations. He committed fraud when he called his bogus translation of this papyri “The Book of Abraham”. The guy got his ideas for the book of mormon from a 1923 book he read that was published by a UK Minister, named Ethan Smith, who wrote a book called “View of the Hebrews”. The entire mormon religion is based upon lies and deceit.

  • 528. Alban  |  June 6, 2012 at 2:06 am

    Trust what you know by experience, not what has been told to you and all your predecessors, by their predecessors. Hearsay does not win ever! Even when it is tied into reading, optimistic, uniform or imagined belief. Trust your Heart of hearts (non-emotional) not your rationale. Desire to be shown the Truth. Never settle for explanations. And ignore those who rationalize that hope away.

    (Sorry Cag)

  • 529. cag  |  June 6, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Trust what you know by experience, not what has been told to you and all your predecessors, by their predecessors.

    So, Alban, you agree that the bible is a festering pile of dung not fit for a human audience?

  • 530. Lori  |  June 12, 2012 at 3:38 am

    John 15:12. “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” Good advice for all of us. The original post as well as a lot of the comments have undertones of serious debilitative emotions. Let it go….and let everyone worship (or not worship at all), how they please.

  • 531. Alban  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Thank you Lori for your simple wisdom in intercession.

    Cag, the bible is a suitable guide line and a directional compass for living life. The 2 categories of living are #1 knowing or tangibly perceiving life and #2 HOW to live life. Without the “Knowing that the bible amongst several other scriptures address and seem to hold out as a mystery as well…in that absence we have to hold on to something of value.

    Our hope and faith help us to live relatively (overall) peacefully in spite of the many well documented contradictions you bring up.

    Bottom line is, we as a race no longer HAVE to live without perceiving the source of life itself within each of us. This is neither spiritual or religious perception. It’s not meditation, nor is it prayer which do have their own benefits.

    If I could summarize the major scriptures of this world…for what its worth – to some very little, to others alot, it is what you make of it and do about it. To some who read on this site, the possibility of knowing in the way I’ve described may mean everything. There was never intended to be a spectacle or one shot instantaneous peace, but a peace where each person in their own time could savor everyday within and sometimes in every moment-every breath.

    The prophecies (catastrophies aside for the moment) essentially predict a time when the world would have mass communication ability and the message of salvation fulfilment, enlightenment, God Realization, whatever you want to call it…maybe personal peace would be available on an overall earthly basis. Simple.

    And like in the previous times highlighted by our religious legends with their various folklore and other agendas, it still will come down to those individuals who feel the simple, pristine call. Not correctly or incorrectly. Those very religious, those not, atheists, agnostics and those skeptical are all indivuals who, one at a time are invited to know directly the peace that is contained in each and that sustains each one in their very breath. (And you don’t have to tie the 2 together in your own thinking – this is not about mutual agreement. It is about individual freedom..the availibility of unconditional peace)

    Cag, what is woo about turning the senses within? If it is an exercise, then it is just gymnastics. If there is something there whose value can be savored, then run with it.!!! I think we all agree the outer direction of our senses haven’t taken us to heaven. Maybe the inner possiblity that we all have overlooked (again not mystically, spiritually or hypothetically) does deliver a ‘water’ that we can have as much of as we want (Heaven). Then the changes in this place that we all want can BEGIN to come true.

    It is up to each one of us. There is no herd mentality here. No Judgement. And the inner learning is a blast. So is the teacher.

  • 532. ubi dubium  |  June 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    The bible is a dreadful guide to life. It’s contradictory, and much that it dictates is unacceptable behavior in our current society. Sure, there’s some wisdom mixed in with it, but the same can be said for any ancient “holy” book. Sure read them, find what’s useful and relevant in each, but discard the rest.

    But as usual, Alban, I’m not really seeing your point. Just a lot of “look within” and mystical word salad and woo. The “woo” is in deciding that the things that are coming from “within” actually have some correlation with external reality. Just because you “feel something in your heart” doesn’t make it real.

  • 533. cag  |  June 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Alban, The silly book you refer to is not a suitable guide line for living unless you are into mass genocide, owning slaves, having wild bears kill children, treating women as property and many other actions we today consider unacceptable. Do yo really think that a book that states, right up front, that the earth was created before the sun and the rest of the universe, will in any way be convincing to anyone except those already poisoned by the threats of religious scam artists.

    The bible is not a book from which one gets morality, unless you consider killing children (1 Samuel 15:3) a moral good. If you do this, please assure me that you live nowhere near Canada. The only good thing about god is that it doesn’t exist. Your imaginary god is not moral, not decent, not loving and not convincing.

    I look within me, there is no god there, there is no desire for a “father” for I have grown up. There is no heaven or hell, heaven does not scare me, hell does not appeal to me. I do not agonize about where I’m going after death, because there is nothing after death except decay. I do not worry about ticking off a micro-managing imaginary deity who can determine my fate. It must be terrible to have to worry about keeping out of the bad books of santa god.

    Sometimes humans can become prisoners of their imaginations. There will always be people (popes, imams, swamis etc. and their underlings) more than willing to take advantage of the gullible. There are also people willingly aiding these disgusting people in indoctrinating innocents into religion, they are called parents.

  • 534. Alban  |  June 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    cag and ubi: Your perspectives and eloquency keep up the interest on this site. Poignent and entertaining! Glad I can provide material to stimulate a satisfying feeding frenzy.

  • 535. cag  |  June 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Alban #534, congratulations on the first post you have made that wasn’t word salad. Your previous postings have been biblical in composition, meaning that they could be interpreted in thousands of ways and not one of those interpretations made sense.

  • 536. coiltesla3  |  June 21, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I read reasons 1 and 2 so far. Inquiring and sincere persons attract others of similar qualities. I look forward to returning to this site.

  • 537. Alban  |  June 23, 2012 at 9:36 am

    coiltesa3, I’m lost. Do you you mean the first 2 entries on this post? I almost forgot the theme as the conversation seems to have become foundational. Read on if that’s your take as the sole subject. It evolves and is driving to the heart of motivation for seeking religion or (not) seeking something else. Pointed views are the basis of good dialogue and debate inclusive of all perspectives…a lttle shark repellent could be helpful…

  • 538. Gary W. Ellsworth  |  June 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Someone above made the stupid statement that L.D.S. is not Christian. I use “they” below because I am no longer a member of the fold. . Of course “they” are. 3/4 of the Book of Mormon concerns Christ and his coming to the Americans. Why wouldn’t he come? They are his children too. There is a lot of evidence that the Eastern Woodlands Indians have the hagliotype coming from the Eastern Mediterranean area. I have read many of the above posts and find them simply prejudiced nonsense. I would gladly argue with anyone concerning Mormonism, but unfortunately because of fear people will not open their minds enough to consider the other side of an argument. I see this as a great source of ignorance in the world.

    jeddy1856@hotmail.com

  • 539. Alban  |  June 24, 2012 at 6:15 am

    Gary, if I understand correctly, you are supprting the generic view of the Christ’s presence here or the possibility of that ‘coming’. It would be a fairytale if the one who is prophecied wasn’t empowering the people to be fulfilled in order to prioritize their assest(s) over the circus of the implication s of his presence. Facts are facts usually in a tangible or tactile simplistic form, understandible and acceptable (potentially).

    The torch of understanding is not chock full of reason in this case, rather, it is full of perceiving and feeling in a way we as a race have forgotten or overlooked. It is no different than 2000 years ago or 5000 years ago in Confuscious’s time. What is the most obvious is Mans’ greatest riddle…how can it be so obvious if I can’t see it?

    The teacher shows up and and shows the obvious to the sincere again and again. Folks like ubi and cag in their sincere analysis do not see, not because they cannot but because they cannot escape the confinement of reason in their litmus testing so to speak. If you in this case are unable to step outside of the box we have have created as a race, then that box constrains you, similar in many ways to a prison. Whether you master the the constraints of the box as told, explained or accepted is inconsequential to the possibility that is offered. Few historically bite because their scope does not permit the possibility in their rationale of what could be.

    In other words, hunches of what could be outside of the box are easily in a reasonable sense, disqualified. In math I think the term is mutually exclusive, much like the axiom in physics that 2 objects cannot exist in the same space simultaneously, yet depending on the source of the atomic source, it is “possible”.(fermions and their counterparts). So, if what has no beginning and no end could exist with what has a definite beginning and end then, IF the former could be accessed, would you want to access it?

    This is a parallel, not exactly like what is available when offered by the teacher of the time but you get the point. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and even Paul in the Bible had their inspirations without direct knowing (visions don’t count) and those inspirations compelled many to accept the resulting thinking. That was neither a sin or a crime though there have been many who have profited from the assumption of such. Cag and ubi will agree.

    Where we go from here is up to the individual. How deep do you wanna go? If the source could be available, is it worth an investment of time to find that intimacy within yourself or is it more comfortable to read about others that describe their historical approach, or should it just be discarded in favor of a reasonable, rational approach?

  • 540. cag  |  June 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Alban, a reasonable, rational approach is to put away fantasy and myth for reality. I suggest you try it.

  • 541. Alban  |  June 25, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Cag, you crack me up. You are so doggedly relentless ignoring the process happening right under your own nose of something you can pursue experientially. If there is truth propelling each breath what does that say about reason minimizing or disregarding the intimate knowing of such a presence?.

    You reject the obvious and how valuable it could be. The potential however to be right, is only as good as the foundation on which it is built. Your foundation to be right like the religious ones you most criticize, is invisible as well. Human events and circumstances are sequential and are no more or no less proof of the Creator. They are a direct result of decisions we as individuals or as a race make or allow to be made for us.

    Reason and rationale are like a plastic inlay onto the substance of real existence. They are merely a means of attempted explanation of events and circumstances, not the same language as the source of life. They can be created, molded/changed and destroyed. Someting inside of you cannot be created, molde/changed or destroyed. If you could discern the difference within inside you of what is and isn’t subject to time, change and decay, could that have any value in its perspective for you?

    It’s never been about winning the debate. It’s always been about wanting, receiving, enjoying, appreciating and utilizing the greatest asset we each have. Each day while on the rollercoaster of events and circumstance. That is thriving

    Seems weird to me that there is any debate about pure joy. Should be more about how can I get to this as quickly as possible!.

  • 542. Gary W. Ellsworth  |  June 25, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Cag, there is all kinds of morality in the Bible. But, I don’t suppose you won’t see it because of your throwing the baby out with the bathwather. Go to Exodus 20 for an example. You are seeing what you want to see.

  • 543. ubi dubium  |  June 25, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Gary, the point is that there are all kinds of morality in the bible, both good and bad. Those people who say every word of the bible must be obeyed are locking themselves into horrible bronze-age standards of behavior. And for those people who say we only have to obey some of the rules and not others, they then have the problem of how to judge which rules are the good ones. And to distinguish that, they have to rely on their own sense of morality, which is the same thing that we non-religious people have been doing all along.

    The qu’ran also has some good moral guidance in amongst the other stuff, and the Egyptian Book of the Dead is better on morals than either the bible or the qu’ran. But I don’t see you rushing to live your life by either of those books.

  • 544. Gary W. Ellsworth  |  June 25, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Yeah, but how do we know that there may have been great light in the bronze age? Why do we think that current wisdom is superior? I agree there were abominable practices, child sacrifice to Molock as an example. On the other hand, the Budda seemed to be full wisdom at the same time as those sacrifices. The New Testiment was compiled about the time of the Nicean Creed. Those who compliled it selected those books that they agreed with. Those books what they didn’t agree with were tossed. We have to realize that we may have some garbage imbeded within. I don’t know how to fix it. Do you? I think that the most important thing we can do is to love God with all our hearts, might, mind and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Christ said that was the essence of Christianity. If I am missing something, I just ask for God’s mercy. You are right we have to rely on our own sense of morality, but also ask God to help us get our heads streight. BTW: As far as I know, we are complete strangers. So, of course, you don’t see me rusing to live my life by the workd of God (that doesn’t include the Quoran).

    Cheers,
    GWE

  • 545. ubi dubium  |  June 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I agree that there is garbage embedded in the bible. But I don’t see a need to fix it, all we need to do is toss it. I see no reason to believe that your book has any more truth than any of the other ancient writings. If you don’t need the teachings of the qu-ran, or the sayings of Buddha, or the Bhagavad-Gita, then you don’t need the bible either. It’s not special, and it’s not better.

    I’m with you on the love your neighbor, and there is no need to believe in gods to do that. If we decide what kind of a world we want for ourselves, our children, and for their children and their children, and strive to create a moral code that makes our envisioned world work, then we are on the right track, whether or not anyone thinks an invisible man in the sky is guiding him.

  • 546. cag  |  June 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Ah, yes, love in the bible such as Luke 14:26. Science such as the earth being the centre of the universe(genesis 1:1). Compassion as shown to the Amalekites.

    Alban, if you are trying to channel Deepak Chopra, you are doing it poorly. Provide evidence for your song and dance or throw away your keyboard. There is zero evidence for any creator, and you have not added to the total.

    Gary, you make great proclamations about this god character but where is the evidence. Why should I accept the words of a book that is so full of errors that mirror exactly the ignorant beliefs of its authors. You quote as authentic words from humans that they attribute to deities. If there deities actually existed, why do they not speak to the world, a world that mostly does not believe in these deities? The logical explanation is that the deities do not exist. The excuse of the religious are not persuasive to any but those who believe without reason, without evidence, without thought.

    An omnipotent being who is thwarted by a less than omnipotent being? Blaming the bad on some devil does not make your god look very good. Omnipotent yet not caring, not protecting, not loving. Can you imagine a parent being able to save their children and doing nothing to save them? Your god is either omnipotent and able to protect us from disease, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, accidental death, or an incompetent who lets nature take its course, or imaginary. Does it not reflect best on your god that it is imaginary? All the other options make your god appear as a sadistic monster or a pusillanimous nobody.

    2000 years of no evidence, yet people believe. This is the ultimate definition of child abuse, making children believe in the imaginary and not telling them the truth when they mature.

    Where is your evidence?

  • 547. Gary W. Ellsworth  |  June 26, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Evidence? Oh, there is plenty of evidence. But, I think I will pass on handing out any evidence. Your mind is already made up. You are one of those who would argue worlds without end. You would never listen to my viewpoint. So, what would compell me to waste my time and effort to convience you what there is a God.

    Cheers
    Gary in Manti

  • 548. cag  |  June 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Gary, you cannot convince me that there is a god. I need evidence, not verbiage. If your god is interested in me, let it contact me directly, no intermediaries. The “evidence” you speak of must be unique to you, as no one else has come up with any “evidence” that can hold up to critical analysis. Your viewpoint does not constitute evidence, but a compendium of the lies that you were told at a time when you were incapable of using reason to see the fallacies.

    Arguments, however “sophisticated” do not constitute evidence. Refutable evidence is not evidence. Your refusal to provide any verifiable evidence sounds just like all of apologetics, just more excuses why your god doesn’t.

    Bible scholars usually have something to “prove”. Some of them actually prove to themselves that their cherished belief in god is actually wrong, there is no god.

  • 549. ubi dubium  |  June 26, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Gary,
    Of course you pass on handing out any “evidence”. I don’t think you’ve got any, because I don’t think there is any. However, there is one piece of evidence that would get my attention, and get me to listen to you. My pass-phrase. It’s a specific sentence, in English, and not from any written source. If your god exists he knows what it is. If he is all-powerful, and communicates with humans, he can tell someone what it is, and have them come say it to me. No sweat for a god, right? But nobody has come up with it so far.

    So ask your god what my phrase is, come back here and tell me, and if you are right you will have my undivided attention, and I will listen to your “viewpoint”. Until then, I think your god is no more real than Zeus, or Osiris, or the Great Pumpkin, or Pikkiwokki the New Guinean mud god.

  • 550. Gary W. Ellsworth  |  June 26, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    You guys win. Have a cigar!

    Cheers

  • 551. Alban  |  June 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Even bringing someone back to life is essentially a parlour game for the power that generates, operates and destroys. Isn’t your life ubi a fair enough indication of God’s existence? Take out the calculator and count your breaths taken everyday, Safe to say you are a guest here.

    The host knows the last place you’d ever find him/her/it…er even look is right within you. It would behoove anyone who has not much humility to at least try to find that humility within yourself and you’ll be very close to answering for yourself (help is provided) the big questions of life…bigger than pass phrases

    The irony is when you approach the subject of what has no beginning an no end with both sincerity and humility, there are more answers than questions you can ask. At that point even the answer to even a slly charade game for you will come as a surprise but you won’t feel the need to advertise that because your perspective will be a whole lot bigger and your pride won’t have to go around chanting “La-la-la la-la-la-la-la etc;.

    I know it’s hard to imagine parting with complaining. Alas, you wont want to complain about this subject again unless you choose to stop going inside. But hey it always has been and will be an open door policy…first thing though is to want to find the door!

  • 552. ubi dubium  |  June 26, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    “Isn’t your life ubi a fair enough indication of God’s existence?”

    No, it’s really not. The fact that our planet, after 4.5 billion years of evolution, has managed to produce a sentient life form is no indication that there is some omniscient omnipotent creator behind it all.

    Interesting comparison here. Most of the preachers we get here seem to believe in one thing, and believe in it fervently. Alban, you apparently believe in everything. I believe things when there is sufficient evidence for me to think they are probably true, which neither you nor Gary have produced for your views.

    How long do you bash your head against a solid wall trying to find the door before you give up and realize that there probably isn’t any door and never was?

  • 553. Gary W. Ellsworth  |  June 26, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    ubi dubium, when ever in my posts did i try to convience you that there is a God. I indicated that I believe in God, but have tried to convience. I don’t give a rats ass what you believe. If there is no divine being why are you so militant?

    Chees

  • 554. ubi dubium  |  June 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Militant? Disagreeing with you does not equal militant. Flying airplanes into buildings and blowing yourself up for some god, that’s militant. I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    Gary, you are the one who came to a blog by and for deconverts, and started talking about how it was necessary to love god. If you went to an AA meeting and and started talking about how great alcohol was I think they would disagreee with you and ask you to leave. And they would not be “militant” for doing so. You walked into a “religion anonymous” meeting. What were you expecting?

  • 555. cag  |  June 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Ubi, thanks for cleaning up the dog shit from the front lawn. I’m expecting signs of incontinence on the back lawn now. But then, that’s all they have.

  • 556. Alban  |  June 27, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Ubi, the last time I checked, God not alchohol is recognized at AA meetings as a source of inspiration and guidance. When you support a deconversion website, many of those who visit the site actually think their version of belief is tainted or not particularily substantial enough to give meaning or happiness to their lives.

    Yes others feed off others discontent so partaking in a general bitch session provides a short term release from the dogma they may have felt or known they bit into and ignorantly , but not foolishly. Waking up encourages open mindedness and open heartedness once the goal of what is desired is understood, not perpetual self flagellation or derision of those STILL comfortable in not knowing.

    I look at it as a timing issue, not a stupidity issue. Sooner or later each of us wants reality, not explanation – real substance not to win a debate but something proveably fulfilling to ourselves. That is not even parallel to faith, though it may SEEM that way if you didn’t have a jeweler’s eye so to speak, to perceive both the beauty and the value simultaneously…within yourself. In the beginning one who has that kind of ‘eye’ may describe his or her longing as an absence or as thirst. And search they will for clues or direction to fill or quench.

    We all have ignorance. Foolishness adds stubborness to inherent ignorance once that basic ignorance has been initially overcome. getting burned on the stove is common to most of us. Foolishness is thinking you won’t get burned again.

    The differing motivations find pieces of common ground so both agreement and disagreement naturally occur. The point of the search however is not mutual agreement; it is individual contentment of a much deeper varirty than any kind of agreement can provide. So yes there are some who seek something more than religion can provide who check out this site and there are others perhaps foolish who think they want a replacement for the annoyances of their faith. They are worlds apart in their timing of what means the most yet we categorize them as freak or weak.

    From a completely worldly perspective cag and ubi are expert at making arguments against ignorance, but without the goal or even the hope of wisdom and contentment (both) for individuals the repetitiveness of their counterpoints border on parrot like religious affirmations or yes, foolishness in thinking this perspective helps each to be content, have lasting (not just relative) peace, know yourself- make signicant contribution to the human race-whatever the labeling of your goal.

    My point is there are many who agree with your logic but for a number of those, the worldly perspective is not cutting it. Thankfully there is at least one other door that isn’t a slave to those limitations, one that existed before the human race (our upline) went foolish.

    Maybe it just strokes the ego to consider our race as ignorant and hope again (foolishly) that we’ll find our way out supported by our reason and rationale. Skeptisim should never be confused with simple wisdom. When the value of life is ignored by the individual, it is impossible for advancement to take place.

    When you drive around perpetually in circles, the scenery gets old, doesn’t it?

  • 557. Gary W. Ellsworth  |  June 27, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Golly gee, Ubi, I am new at this. I didn ‘t know that this is a website in which all must agree with you. I am very good at obedience having just left the TLC about a year ago. Tell me where to look for the rules and I promise to behave

    Cheers
    Gary in Manti

  • 558. cag  |  June 27, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Alban #556, the 12 steps of AA refer to a higher power, not god. It is your interpretation that came out with god. Higher power is just a buzz word. For me it would be the sun because without the sun there is no life. No life, no me. I do not worship the sun but I appreciate it. The first of many errors in your bible is the claim that the earth is independent of the sun (Genesis 1 1:3). I appreciate the earth, but unlike the bible, I recognize that the earth is dependent on the sun.

    Gary #557, if you come here with questions you will not be treated like a pariah, but when you come here espousing your failed philosophy there will be push back. It’s de-conversion, not re-conversion. We reject your dogma, it has nothing to offer. We have no need for our minds to be placed in a religious straight jacket.

    Don’t come here and espouse your god without evidence for your god, evidence that does not requite presupposition. Arguments for god are meaningless, just word play. So far all the arguments for god are without evidence. How convenient that your god is incommunicado. It is as if your god didn’t exist, just as the conman’s gold mine does not exist.

  • 559. ubi dubium  |  June 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Gary,

    About rules: First, look at the title of the blog at the top of the page.

    Then on the right side near the top there is a big red exclamation point, and it says “attention christian readers”. Did you happen to go to either of the links indicated there?

    I think it’s pretty clear from those what the intent of this blog is.

  • 560. Gil  |  July 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I do find it amusing the point you made about getting married at 27 sounding so awful. Brother, I’m 35 years old and still not married after all these years. I’ve been a menace to (lds)society more times then you ever were. I still attend a singles ward(I know scary)and have to live with the stigma of being that creepy over 30 guy who is still not married yet. Yeah, it sucks at times, but I haven’t lost my testimony over it.

  • 561. ubi dubium  |  July 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

    ….but I haven’t lost my testimony over it.

    What an interesting turn of phrase. I assume it’s a Mormon thing. As if your “testimony” is something you could leave on the piano or lose in the sofa cushions.

    Why should there be a stigma attached to being single? Being single might not make you re-evaluate your religious opinions, but there being a stigma attached to it certainly should.

  • 562. mimi  |  July 10, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Over 40 years ago a young LDS woman met and married a young man. They were very happy together, but her parents never accepted the marriage. They joined the Peace Corps and worked in Ecuador. They adopted a young boy there. When they returned to the states they had 2 more boys. About 30 years ago they were passengers in a car that was hit by a drunk driver. He was killed and she suffered severe brain damage. Her parents took her home with them. They tried to just leave the Ecuadorian boy with neighbors, but she called for him. At her parents they did not want her to have much rehab as they wanted her to be dependent on them. She was never going to be more than a child mentally. But she was still lovely. They married her to a man in the church who would provide for her and her two boys and be a spiritual husband to her. In the confusion, for her, of the wedding, she was told that the older boy had gone away to school. They actually put him up for adoption and he has never been heard from again. The parents and husband figured probably correctly that she would forget about him. Friends of hers had started a scholarship fund for the three boys that they were to have when they turned 18. Although her parents and new husband discouraged any contact with these friends, they managed to contact the 2 younger boys. The boys said they did not want this money, so it was given to another cause. The friends and their church have never found the older boy.

  • 563. buy hcg canada  |  July 16, 2012 at 11:15 pm

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  • 564. Lyla  |  July 28, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Honestly, I respect your reasons, beliefs, and your point of view. But your reasons are flimsy. I’ve been interested in the Church for quite a while and my family won’t give me the freedom to join it. Some of the answers are simply because you misunderstood. But how could you be able to know the things that are taught in the Church and not believe them? I’d give everything just to know everything. I admit, I don’t know all the answers either, but those reasons aren’t enough to disguise the truth behind the lies. Of course, not everything about it is right. How could one expect that a record such as the Book of Mormon could go thousands of years untouched, unharmed and unchanged? Even a portion of the BOM was stolen when Joseph Smith was translating it. But I guess your like Laman and Lemuel- Nephi’s brothers. How angels appeared before them and they were still wicked nonbelievers. Sure, Mormons aren’t perfect, but try looking deep into some other religions.
    And tithing is only a small sacrifice of what we make (10%). We don’t get punished for not paying it, we just don’t get blessed in the ways that’s we would if we had. And the money is used to build temples, more church facilities, and much more church-related causes.
    I know I can’t explain everything to you. Heck, I don’t even know everything. And I know I can’t make you believe. Just please understand what I’m saying. Good luck in life to you and your family.
    -Lyla

  • 565. Lyla  |  July 28, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Here’s a quote: “I believe in the sun, even if it doesn’t shine. I believe in love, even if I don’t feel it. I believe in God, even if he is silent.”
    Faith isn’t thinking God can. It is knowing that He will.
    Faith isn’t seeing. Faith is knowing He is there, even if there are questions with no answers or clouded ideas.

  • 566. Alban  |  July 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    What if you could experientially know, ie see, hear and feel God? Would faith take on a different context? Maybe all who contribute here want to wallow in blindess, deafness and lack of feeling. This is not a penal colony or (in some cases) solitary confinement.

    Everyday you can breathe in the sun, dance in the harmonies, taste the sweetness, all within you.

    Who is responsible for telling the human race this is not possible? I guess the founders of most religions. Jesus was not the “founder” of christianity. Jesus did state and did reveal within people that (the kingdom of) God is within each of us. He didn’t come to create a religion!

    If God is omnipresent and free will allows us to know that part within, does it make any sense that God would make that access possible only during a 3 1/2 year stint and leave a religion behind in its wake?

    What may be harder to answer is what we THEN do in the appreciation of that awareness. Could that kingdom, that awareness change the notion of what or who is creating the serious challenges the human race is encountering? Maybe we could get on with the business of making the glory of life manifest in our daily lives.

    Without that, beliefs are relative at best in their results, with an occasional miracle to savor or to debate…or in some cases as cag and ubi would agree, to be impossible or fictional.

  • 567. cag  |  July 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Lyla #564

    But how could you be able to know the things that are taught in the Church and not believe them?

    Did you actually read this back to yourself and not have a WTF moment? Consider for a moment the teachings in the temple, the mosque or the more than 30000 different congregations of the christian faith. Using your “logic”, they must all be correct as they “teach” things in their places of worship. If that is the basis of your belief, you might want to rethink your position.

    There is no truth behind the lies of the church. It is all designed to serve the people at the top. The church is a pyramid scheme designed to tap the bottom to feed the top.

    Have you ever stopped to wonder why your god is never heard from, is never seen, is nowhere to be found when tragedies strike? Have you ever wondered why there are mosquitoes spreading malaria if all life was created by god for the benefit of humans (Genesis 1:26-30). Do you believe that the earth was created on day 1 and the sun on day 4?

    Alban #566, I agree that all religion is fiction, fiction designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many.

  • 568. Anonymous  |  August 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks, you are brave to have countered the Mormon claims.
    Keep up the good work. The Mormon plan for American and beyond is deceptive and quite possibly dangerous. Hey, I was just wondering if young Mormon men just go on their individual so CALLED missions and then go in the military. So many of America’s finest young men go into the military and are killed for serving. Yet it seems to me Mormon young men go on their missions and return as war heroes having served their church which they seem to believe is the same as serving in the armed forces. Is this true? I think most Mormon men live through their missions.

  • 569. Chesley  |  August 21, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    TO THE MORMON BELIEVERS READING-
    If you believe your religion to be true then researching the LDS churches past shouldn’t be dangerous, so there shouldn’t be anything to fear right? Just try it and see what you find for yourself; Find out what YOU believe. The truth is in the Bible yes but more so it is written on our hearts.

    TO THE EX MORMONS-
    Thank the Lord huh? :)

    TO THOSE THAT HAVEN’T EVER BEEN MORMON
    Remember that Satan is a liar; It was hard for me to come to the understanding that the church I had been raised in was all a lie. Be loving to those who are being “led astray” as Mormons say, and pray for them.

    God loves the truth more than any of us ever could. Let’s stop trying to fix others and start finding ourselves, our true Identity in Christ.

    “What you resist persists”
    Carl Young

    “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”
    Jesus
    :)

  • 570. ubi dubium  |  August 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Chesley,

    The truth can indeed set you free. The truth is that Satan is not a liar, Satan is a lie. The bible is fiction. The book of mormon is bad fanfiction. Your god is imaginary. Jesus was probably some apocalyptic preacher who was executed for rabble-rousing, and then used as a focus for a religion created out of an amalgam of various Roman-era mystery religions. He would have spoken Aramaic, but your gospels were written in Greek, so we really don’t even have any direct quotes from the guy.

    Religion is a scam. An addictive expensive scam. It sounds like maybe you freed yourself from Mormonism, and if so, congratulations. You say “the church I had been raised in was all a lie”. Be sure to take that same good hard look at the church you are in now.

  • 571. chesley  |  August 21, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Feel free to continue; I would love to hear your beliefs.

    The church I refer to is upon the divine revelation and profession of faith in Christ, not a physical building..

  • 572. cag  |  August 22, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    chesley, so do you believe that the earth was “created” before the sun and stars? Do you believe that the sun, planets and stars are set in the “firmament”? Do you believe that birds are able to fly to heaven (Genesis 1:20)? Do you believe that women should be quiet in church (1 Corinthians 14:34)? All this comes from the same book that makes claims about the existence and actions of your jesus. The bible contains all kinds of claims that conflict with reality. It is for this reason that many of us accept that the bible is just the written imaginings of a middle east tribe of semi nomads. Unless your value system includes misogyny, slavery, stoning to death for various trivial “transgressions” and other acts we now consider barbaric, then the only conclusion is that the bible has nothing to offer a modern society, a society that is much more moral than any society existing at the time that the bible was written. Basing your life on fiction is not healthy.

    I suggest that you read your bible, all of it, with a critical rather than accepting mind. It will read quite differently.

  • 573. Alban  |  August 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

    chesley- I have a little different take than cag or ubi dubium. Truth is not written…cannot be written-cannot be described satisfactorily in writing, but nonetheless exists in ( not ”on” ) our hearts until the day we die. And then, if you are intimate with it you get to keep it. Written words are hearsay in a historical context and therefore not admissable in regards to your own experience here in life.

    The quality of life no matter the circumstances has, is and will always be independant of physical results. We haven’t as a race for a long time had our priorities clear so we associate our outcomes with our seemingly divinely joined but more accurately described – sovereignly ignorant choices.

    Determining where God exists (inside ourselves) (“the ocean is inside every drop”) is imperative I would put forth. Quality of life Itself is spectacular. Our choices however in perceiving this obviousness and the resulting pecking order of acquiesence have been less than stellar…perhaps pathetic for quite awhile.

    Without this perspective cag and ubi are 100% correct in the blow by blow breakdown. So circle goes to square but square goes to circle because you both overlook the rationale to be aware of all pertinent info!

    Both sides are therefore incomplete in their desire to know every possibility.. So which will be interested in gaining the total perspective? One side depends on hearsay, the other looks at contradictions in hearsay and physical result outcome. Both miss our individual responsibility of Free Will with the possibility of tangible knowing.

    If in your mutual opinions tangible knowing is not a possibility which if it could appear, is not argueable, then we have a stalemate. I point out the possibility of knowing beyond a blind belief or the contradiction of that belief.

    Who misses the sun rising with the eyes to see? Those not looking in the appropriate direction…in this case, within…but that seems to miss any impact within the argument here as it appears to be once again a n/a in history though clearly being stated by a witness.

    To concede the possibility is not to lose the website’s message-rather it adds to the contention (as a possibility) that God may exist…don’t worry ubi and cag. It’s just “may”.

  • 574. cag  |  August 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Alban, the heart is just a specialized muscle, found in all mammals and some other life forms. There is nothing special about the human heart, no truth, no lies.

    Gods are all products of human imagination. How many gods have to be exposed as fake in order to conclude that all gods are fake? At one time, Thor was considered to be real, same with Ra, Zeus and thousands more. The believers in these gods were as fervent in their beliefs as any current practitioners. Just like christians of old, and some christians in places like Africa today, the believers in these discredited gods used lethal force to promulgate their beliefs. Threats of death (or hell) are not meant to arrive at truth but at conformity.

    “Free Will” is just another rationalization for the fact that humans do not act like robots. It is an excuse for the fact that “god’s creations” do not act like the product of a perfect being. After all, the product of a perfect being must, by definition, be perfect. How is the mosquito possibly the product of a perfect being? How does the mosquito fit with Genesis 1:28?

    The bible is a compendium of the ignorant beliefs of bronze age humans. No rational human (non god besotted) today believes that the earth was created before the sun or that the sun and other stars are placed in “the firmament”. The bible is also the base from which current belief in god originates. The bible says that god inspired the bible. Sort of a circle jerk, god is true because the bible says so and the bible is true because god says so. Not a logical conclusion. As some of us see through the lies in the bible we also see that the basis for a belief in god is based on lies. The only rational conclusion is that a god based on lies is an imaginary god.

    I certainly do not worry about things that do not exist, unlike people who can’t distinguish fantasy from reality.

    If anyone reading this believes that the earth is the centre of the universe, as stated in Genesis 1:1, please explain to me how geostationary satellites work. Hint: if you do not understand what a sidereal day is, you are on the wrong track.

  • 575. Anonymous  |  August 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    An angel has always been an angel never lived on earth before becoming an angel. That tell’s you the church was started on a lie the devil’s angel, angel Moroni. People need to read their Bible. Here is a link to how the Mormon church started with Joseph Smith. eom.byu.edu/index.php/Moroni,_Angel ( Forget what else is wrong with the Mormon church.)

  • 576. Anonymous  |  August 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    God is an unchanging God, why would he change his prophecies. Black americans couldn’t hold the priesthood and now they can. The church moves with the times, not led by God.

  • 577. cag  |  August 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Anonymous #576

    God is an unchanging God

    It is impossible to change when you don’t exist. Not everything your parents told you is true.

  • 578. Alban  |  August 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    cag. I am not debating human beings’ concept of God. The subject of what may have no beginning and no end is experiential, not hypothetical. The implications of the hypothesis are seemingly never ending and all your points in the hypothetical realm are logical.

    My point is the experiential never seems to get much ink in the history books or scriptures. Why?

    What is truly simple and most obvious has been overlooked and has essentially been taken for granted because we have prioritized our complications as a race, completely forgetting that simplicity and our individual ability to accept the obvious.

    The most significant experience we all share without debate is our life and presence here, right? What we are and what our origin is not a mystery but our complication/implication has made it so only in our imagination!

    You can’t see your face without a mirror or a reflection of some sort though your face is unquestionably there. Way back who knows when, someone became able to show or mirror the obvious so that interested people could simply turn within and discover the obvious.

    Some have viewed that as miraculous, some see the value of that while others implicate the after effects including the implications of the who or why of that person. One of those people who did show or mirror the obvious was murdered. Did that change the obvious or access to it? No it just threw alot of complication on top of it.

    The same three elements that existed from way back still exist today.The living person, the living (breathing) shower and the obvious.To determine whether or not the obvious has no beginning or no end you will have to be able to simply turn within. And that requires some assistence that is not supernatural or imaginary.

    It also requires a little sincerity and a fair degree of humility.

  • 579. Alban  |  August 26, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    …What then can be done with the obvious once known and naturally appreciated is in our hands just like now when we as a race don’t know. The scales for sanity and goodwill are tipped in a more favorable direction!

    The best asset we posess in conjunction with each life no longer dormant or overlooked provides a perspective that places peace dignity and prosperity as a natural presence rather than an attainment. Not contrived-not created, although the possible manifestations are obvious if we utilize that gift.

    Don’t worry, religion will still have a place in society but it won’t be for the purpose of trying to explain who we are and why we are here.

    That has always been and always will be in the realm of the inner consumables. That’s where the metaphors of living water and daily bread originated if any Christians are interested in that heritage.

    cag, you may deride this as if its so obvious why can’t everyone perceive it? And that is just the point. Everyone can. It’s not exclusive or partial nor does it cost any money. But to a wiseman its “benefits” are priceless. It could also outshine the right or wrong elements of healthy skepticism!!!

  • 580. cag  |  August 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Alban, I have looked at the Healthy Eating Pyramid and there is no recognition there of word salad. From that I have to conclude that there is no value to word salad.

    You seem to be stuck on “experiential”. What you experience does not necessarily relate to what I experience. My experiences have a beginning, I had no experience before I was born. I will have no experiences after I die. Only reality can be used as a foundation for our existence. Imagination is not a foundation until it becomes reality. The wheel was in someone’s imagination before it became a reality. Gods were in some imaginations but never became a reality. This is the reason I reject gods, they are not of reality, they cannot be experienced, only the idea can be imagined. I reject the supernatural, not because I can’t imagine it, but because I can. The supernatural does not exist in reality, so is easily rejected.

  • 581. Pat  |  August 28, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Blind obedience is for animals, not humans.
    Guess the church never taught that to its “flocks.”

  • 582. eff  |  August 31, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Very interesting article! As you will know, Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Why don’t we ask him if his church is true! Not, Mormon is all hog wash and was a dream just like the “land of OZ.” You all need to wake up and start reading your bible. Remember Jesus reigns at the end. Amen

  • 583. ubi dubium  |  August 31, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Why would I want to read the bible again? It’s all hog wash and was a dream just like the “land of OZ.” Remember, the Wizard is a humbug at the end. RAmen

  • 584. cag  |  August 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    eff, if I wanted to read fiction, it would have to be really good fiction. not some incoherent mess that loses me with the claim that the earth was created before any other object in the universe. That lie is then compounded by claims that the sun, moon and stars are placed in “the firmament”.

    On day 1, your imaginary god creates heaven and earth. On the second day, your non-existent being creates heaven (Genesis 1:8 KJV). What an incoherent mess. At least the theme continues through the book, absolute irrelevance, absolute nonsense.

    The bible has nothing to offer any scientifically literate individual. We feel sorry for you that you were never allowed to critically analyze the message of the bible, due to being indoctrinated. It is not too late, read the bible critically, not approvingly.

  • 585. Alban  |  September 5, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    cag, what’s wordsaladish about “obvious”? All I’m stating is we all have the ability to perceive inwardly as we do outwardly. seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. If I do the math, not utilizing that perception would be like cutting out at least 50% of all perception unless there’s nothing in there to discover except for physical phenomena.

    You can state there is nothing in there besides physical stuff, but you don’t know, do you? A number of people throughout history have contended there is another part of our individual universe that is inside and offered to show sincerely interested (vs curious) people that “experience”. From that inspiration and of course the experience, many have been inspired in a second/third hand way that something beyond our comprehension exists with descriptions like infinite, immaculate, joy, peace, bliss unimagineable gratitude etc.

    Fit Constantine, the roman government and the nicene convention(s) in there and poof, that experience doesn’t exist. In its place a crucifix symbolizing a murder, alot of dead people and millions of pages of writing burned and destroyed. Slice and dice anyway you want christianity worships a spin doctor’s symbol of outward then upward salvation

    We’re left with at best, 50% of reasoning ability, wild innaccurate interpretations mixed into some accurate recommendations and a real word salad…not to mention wars, powergrabs, torture, famine etc. So it’s no surprise the obvious is not obvious. Too many layers of ignorance and arrogance

    That doesn’t change its presence.Meditation, mysticism, occult, supernatural all use imagination to some degree even intuition. To see what is inside, imagination cannot be present. Can imagination wrap itself around that?

  • 586. ubi dubium  |  September 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    To see what is inside, imagination cannot be present. Can imagination wrap itself around that?

    Cag, I’m getting word salad too. Alban is saying a lot of words, but the words are not combining to make any intelligible ideas. Lots of the godbots say things I disagree with, but at least I can usually understand what point they are trying to make.

    Alban, do you have any point to make other than, “believe in everything, evidence not required”?

  • 587. cag  |  September 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Ubi, I can’t help but believe that Alban got hold of one of those MAD Magazine non sequitur generators. One that hasn’t been debugged. I believe it was the Deepak Chopra commemorative version. It’s the only thing I can think of that could so consistently generate utter nonsense.

  • 588. Alban  |  September 6, 2012 at 5:33 am

    Wasn’t there an old vaudville act called ‘Punch n’ Judy’ ? You both embrace that old dynamiic in your responses. That lightness/sharpness amidst some serious concerns makes this site entertaining!

    The non sequitur is really not. The bible with the emphasis of the new testament has roots in a reality most never consider nor want to. Yet it involves a considerable part of our individual and collective being…that should merit the possibility of consideration to some who may not have alot of stock in accepted/adopted rationale. And those numbers are growing. Cag and Ubi- you are at the forefront of this movement yet your concessions only separate the bible and teachings of the mormon church from common sense deductions.

    I am throwing in a variable that can’t be boxed or labeled. Some may think I am referring to God, others pure or even Choprish gibberish, but alas what I’m talking about is beyond the concept of huge or imaginative, so present and yet to so many, so invisible. Like a riddle without that intent but present and interactive when accepted. Interactive in its acceptance, enjoyment in itself and in its potential to help us see clearly to overcome an ancient ignorance

    This should not be confused with with a crutch or a religious rationalization of ‘purpose’ as defined in religious or secular thinking. It is only an option but one that can remove the swords of ego so that among other benefits we can all get along,.lessoning judgement, blame and derision…merely an option, not a must do or a should do, collective agreement or not.

    Does that make the subject of deconversion more foundational or more superfilous in a seemingly new (but actually old) perspective?

  • 589. cag  |  September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    The bible and reality in the same sentence. Now that’s funny.

  • 590. Alban  |  September 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    First hand is direct observation. If had been an unamed passenger on Noah’s ark and years later my son or daughter writes about my observations, that’s second hand. If I had been able to to snap a picture of the ark, that would still be second hand evidence. Generations later both pieces of that evidence become 3rd hand.

    Without direct evidence faith and deconversion from that faith or lack thereof are hypothetical and speculative. In their own respects that may each contain small truths…big depending on which side you’re on.

    My only contention has been- find the determinent within, not with the wish to win the argument, rather with the wish to really know. It may still end up in a ‘mexican stand-off but it it will be productive from the standpoint of discovering self.

    When people get to the point of questioning fundamental truths that we have been conditioned to accept, that is a good thing for individual growth. On the outer level it removes the rose colored glasses and applies hard thought which makes its points but doesn’t even fulfill our curiosity. It can leave us bent on making our points but it is not fulfilling…I know, I know… cag and ubi – it doesn’t seem like fulfillment is applicable, but why do you do anything in life…just for moments of satisfaction- conviction or derision or base pleasure… or to escape the repetition of your own thoughts obsessive or not? Sounds strange but is alot more simple, not more complex.

    Win many battles-lose the war, still haunted by the feeling of “is this all there is? Religions are carefully crafted to avoid that deduction because it comes from a place that is not logical or imaginative. The seeming absence just exists. It just is, period. The original crafters of any religion purposely avoid that feeling and its conclusion with a purposely adequate 3rd hand rationaliztion full of assumption (though they are not aware of what this overlooks)- some correct, some not. Even the universalist church is a placebo in its essence because it is all accepting no matter what you think, or what you feel (non-emotionally) is missing. A white flag essentially.

    The weak need to hear and are satisfied by the rationalization. The strong (here I mean-those who are serious) need only find humility, so they are a somewhat different challenge than the weak…but significant in challenge because their “educated or rational” opinions resonate with stubborness and its sword, as though the judgement of right and wrong- what “seems obvious” is the actual determinent of what is or is not true and lasting.

    This is hardly the case. The real obvious is set in an environment that is independent of human parameters yet accessible with childlike wonder. Our acquired sometimes “adult” perspective limits our possibilities and the understanding of our true nature – but that choice was made way back and believe it or not, we still follow thru robotically until some STOP to question it.

    Now in today’s world more people are questioning and the answer(s) are more available. Is that a sticky point? Yes, on both sides of skepticism…but what is the bottom line? Now is now and fulfillment is simply available.

    This is not new at all, but it sounds like it. Our dialogue needs to come from a different perspective…one of not being cheated or mislead to one where we are inspired to see what IS there and determine from that point what is in our best interest.

  • 591. Alban  |  September 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    If the point of deconversion is just to counter and condemn religious hypocracy, does that help or inspire anyone…as accurate as the points are?

    Skepticism, healthy as it may be, does have a part 2. All research papers have a conclusion. Further experiments for example, in the various fields of health are usually indicated to find a solution.

    So lets agree that our individual experiences and perception of religion did not take us anywhere. What would be the next experiment that would add the most to our quality of life maybe get some answers to some important things? Or do we just stay stuck writing a conclusion that goes on endlessly on the perils and foibles of religion?

    If the point of religion was to give our life meaning and it did not, then what does? Causes like selfless giving and relatively clarifying confusion are expressions of identity that we created. Is expression then meaning? No

    However significant and practical lessons can be learned from the end result of passionate expression. I can’t remember the names of the greatest mathemeticians or the most successful archiologists but what they have inspired in me is common sense I may not have otherwise gleaned.

    Each individual universe as a whole is inside as well as outside. Absent anything completely meaningful more than relative on the outside, it becomes apparent that individuals check out the inside. And since that looks vacant to the outer vision, one may need to start digging so that person can scope out the part of his or her universe that can hold the meaning he or she really wants to know.

    But as ubi can attest in the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, sometimes the most precious and most powerful things just end up lost in a warehouse unused and forgotten.

    My point has been that the relics and legends of religion are like the desecrated ruins of an expression whose source is within each of us. Part 2 of skeptical deconversionism may suggest a little math and a little digging.

    Source meaning is not an abstract. And it is literally visible, pristine and joyous to behold (and no cag, not after my dose of LSD)…from someone who did the math and gets a little help digging.

  • 592. cag  |  September 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Alban, still with the word salad.

  • 593. Alban  |  September 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    The inspiration for the word salad is the same for all of us… if we want to know. It is not an add-on like everything else that we think we know.

    It can be communicated in different flavors however as each of us are unique in individual expre