Subject: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13, 2009
Author: Doug

So my TBM [Mormon] wife posted this on her blog earlier this week. It is the introduction to a CES [Church Education System] seminar taught by none other than Richard L. Bushman, author of Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling.

"Increasingly teachers and church leaders at all levels are approached by Latter-day Saints who have lost confidence in Joseph Smith and the basic miraculous events of church history. They doubt the First Vision, the Book of Mormon, many of Joseph’s revelations, and much besides. They fall into doubt after going on the Internet and finding shocking information about Joseph Smith based on documents and facts they had never heard before. A surprising number had not known about Joseph Smith’s plural wives. They are set back by differences in the various accounts of the First Vision. They find that Egyptologists do not translate the Abraham manuscripts the way Joseph Smith did, making it appear that the Book of Abraham was a fabrication. When they come across this information in a critical book or read it on one of the innumerable critical Internet sites, they feel as if they had been introduced to a Joseph Smith and a Church history they had never known before. They undergo an experience like viewing the famous picture of a beautiful woman who in a blink of an eye turns into an old hag. Everything changes. What are they to believe?

Often church leaders, parents, and friends, do not understand the force of this alternate view. Not knowing how to respond, they react defensively. They are inclined to dismiss all the evidence as anti-Mormon or of the devil. Stop reading these things if they upset you so much, the inquirer is told. Or go back to the familiar formula: scriptures, prayer, church attendance.

The troubled person may have been doing all of these things sincerely, perhaps even desperately. He or she feels the world is falling apart. Everything these inquirers put their trust in starts to crumble. They want guidance more than ever in their lives, but they don’t seem to get it. The facts that have been presented to them challenge almost everything they believe. People affected in this way may indeed stop praying; they don’t trust the old methods because they feel betrayed by the old system. Frequently they are furious. On their missions they fervently taught people about Joseph Smith without knowing any of these negative facts. Were they taken advantage of? Was the Church trying to fool them for its own purposes? These are deeply disturbing questions. They shake up everything. Should I stay in the Church? Should I tell my family? Should I just shut up and try to get along? Who can help me?

At this point, these questioners go off in various directions. Some give up on the Church entirely. They find another religion or, more likely these days, abandon religion altogether. Without their familiar Mormon God, they are not sure there is any God at all. They become atheist or agnostic. Some feel the restrictions they grew up with no longer apply. The strength has been drained out of tithing, the Word of Wisdom, and chastity. They partly welcome the new freedom of their agnostic condition. Now they can do anything they please without fear of breaking the old Mormon rules. The results may not be happy for them or their families.

Others piece together a morality and a spiritual attitude that stops them from declining morally, but they are not in an easy place. When they go to church, , they are not comfortable. Sunday School classes and Sacrament meeting talks about Joseph Smith and the early church no longer ring true. How can these people believe these “fairy tales,” the inquirers ask. Those who have absorbed doses of negative material live in two minds: their old church mind which now seems naive and credulous, and their new enlightened mind with its forbidden knowledge learned on the internet and from critical books.

A friend who is in this position described the mindset of the disillusioned member this way:

“Due to the process of learning, which they have gone through, these [two-minded] LDS often no longer accept the church as the only true one (with the only true priesthood authority and the only valid sacred ordinances), but they see it as a Christian church, in which good, inspired programs are found as well as failure and error. They no longer consider inspiration, spiritual and physical healing, personal and global revelation limited to the LDS church. In this context, these saints may attend other churches, too, where they might have spiritual experiences as well. They interpret their old spiritual experiences differently, understanding them as testimonies from God for them personally, as a result of their search and efforts, but these testimonies don’t necessarily have to be seen as a confirmation that the LDS church is the only true one.

“Since the social relationships between them and other ward (or stake) members suffer (avoidance, silence, even mobbing) because of their status as heretics, which is usually known via gossip, and since the extent of active involvement and range of possible callings are reduced because of their nonconformity in various areas, there is a risk that they end up leaving the church after all, because they are simply ignored by the majority of the other members.”

He then offers a recommendation:

“It is necessary that the church not only shows more support and openness to these ‘apostates’ but also teaches and advises all members, bishops, stake presidents etc., who usually don’t know how to deal with such a situation in terms of organizational and ecclesiastical questions and – out of insecurity – fail to treat the critical member with the necessary love and respect that even a normal stranger would receive.”

Those are the words of someone who has lost belief in many of the fundamentals and is working out a new relationship to the Church. Other shaken individuals recover their belief in the basic principles and events but are never quite the same as before. Their knowledge, although no longer toxic, gives them a new perspective. They tend to be more philosophic and less dogmatic about all the stories they once enjoyed. Here are some of the characteristics of people who have passed through this ordeal but managed to revive most of their old beliefs.

1. They often say they learned the Prophet was human. They don’t expect him to be a model of perfect deportment as they once thought. He may have taken a glass of wine from time to time, or scolded his associates, or even have made business errors. They see his virtues and believe in his revelations but don’t expect perfection.

2. They also don’t believe he was led by revelation in every detail. They see him as learning gradually to be a prophet and having to feel his way at times like most Church members. In between the revelations, he was left to himself to work out the methods of complying with the Lord’s commandments. Sometimes he had to experiment until he found the right way.

3. These newly revived Latter-day Saints also develop a more philosophical attitude toward history. They come to see (like professional historians) that facts can have many interpretations. Negative facts are not necessarily as damning as they appear at first sight. Put in another context along side other facts, they do not necessarily destroy Joseph Smith’s reputation.

4. Revived Latter-day Saints focus on the good things they derive from their faith–the community of believers, the comforts of the Holy Spirit, the orientation toward the large questions of life, contact with God, moral discipline, and many others. They don’t want to abandon these good things. Starting from that point of desired belief, they are willing to give Joseph Smith and the doctrine a favorable hearing. They may not be absolutely certain about every item, but they are inclined to see the good and the true in the Church.

At the heart of this turmoil is the question of trust. Disillusioned Latter-day Saints feel their trust has been betrayed. They don’t know whom to trust. They don’t dare trust the old feelings that once were so powerful, nor do they trust church leaders. They can only trust the new knowledge they have acquired. Those who come back to the Church are inclined to trust their old feelings. Their confidence in the good things they knew before is at least partially restored. But they sort out the goodness that seems still vital from the parts that now seem no longer tenable. Knowledge not only has given them a choice, it has compelled them to choose. They have to decide what they really believe. In the end, many are more stable and convinced than before. They feel better prepared to confront criticism openly, confident they can withstand it. "

"Revived Mormon"? Never seen one. Have you? Wouldn't a "Revived Mormon" be living a lie and lead to ultimate unhappiness?


Subject: I wonder what would have happened....
Date: Jan 13 17:25
Author: Sparky

I wonder what would have happened if Joseph Smith would have heeded Bushman's advice and just been happy with the ho hum, imperfect church(es) he had been associated with?

I mean hey...why didn't he just tell "god" that he was satisfied with things the way they were - warts and all?

Notice also, that Bushman seems to focus on Joseph Smith instead of his universe.

Joseph's plural wives are made the issue - not the surrounding context and the fact that it was DOCTRINE - and discontinued over political pressure.

Egyptologists didn't translate the manuscript the way Joseph did? Uh....yeah....they translated it correctly!

Very subtle - but Bushman is playing the same old game of blame everything else.

He may even have made business errors? That would all be well and good - but it was "god" who told him what to do with those businesses!

What a crock!

And this is precious: "They undergo an experience like viewing the famous picture of a beautiful woman who in a blink of an eye turns into an old hag".

Excuse me? Finding the old hag staring back at you is not quite the same as losing your entire identity, life, social world and family! Brother!




Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 17:34
Author: confused

James 1:8
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

And Orson Hyde said, “Let the mind be concentrated, and it possesses almighty power. It is the agent of the Almighty clothed with mortal tabernacles, and we must learn to discipline it, and bring it to bear on one point” (in Journal of Discourses, 7:153).

Living a lie as Bushman suggests can only lead to unhappiness, unworthiness and repulsion of self.


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 17:35
Author: anon4reply

While I applaud any movement towards understanding and demonstrating compassion towards apostates, I don't see it happening anytime soon. Not while GAs and the First Presidency are still giving conference talks implying that there is never a good reason to leave the church, that people who leave do so because they want to sin, are offended, etc. Leaving the church and living a full, happy life is never a possibility.

Even Bushman states in this talk that "Now they can do anything they please without fear of breaking the old Mormon rules. The results may not be happy for them or their families."

"Others piece together a morality and a spiritual attitude that stops them from declining morally, but they are not in an easy place." Implying, of course, that people who leave the church no longer have any moral compass and will slip into a tragically debased life if they don't return.

Notice how he describes knowing the reality of church history as 'toxic'. "Their knowledge, although no longer toxic, gives them a new perspective."

Could his description of the "revived" LDS be of himself? But is this really an option given past teachings from Prophets?

"Our entire case as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests on the validity of this glorious First Vision. ... Nothing on which we base our doctrine, nothing we teach, nothing we live by is of greater importance than this initial declaration. I submit that if Joseph Smith talked with God the Father and His Beloved Son, then all else of which he spoke is true. This is the hinge on which turns the gate that leads to the path of salvation and eternal life." (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Nov. 1998, pp. 70-71)

"Each of us has to face the matter-either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing." President Gordon B. Hinckley, April Conference, 2003.

"Mormonism must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a Prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground. If Joseph was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead people, then he should be exposed, his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false..." Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1 pp 188-189.)


Subject: They'll make any crappy attack just to get your $$$,,, er, "you" back in the morg.
Date: Jan 13 17:38
Author: Tiphanie

The fact that their attacks are being so in-your-face and are in fact *attacks* points to how DESPERATELY SCARED they all now are.

If enough people correctly point out that the vain, pompous, lying emperor is buck naked, what does that say about the vain, pompous, lying idiots who keep trying to say otherwise?

That we're winning and they're losing... big time.

Expect the increasingly DESPERATE morg to ratchet up the ante over the coming weeks and months...


Subject: You got it exactly!
Date: Jan 13 17:41
Author: toasty

As you point out, Bushman IS the revived mormon he speaks of... genius!


Subject: The increasing number of articles like these from Mopologists is very revealing.....
Date: Jan 13 18:07
Author: Randy J.

Just within the last few months, thoughts similar to Bushman's have been published by other Mopologists such as Michael Ash, John Dehlin, and even one FAIR article which advised TBMs to be more compassionate towards, and refrain from being so confrontational with "apostates."

To echo Tiphanie, I think that these expressions reveal that Mopologists know that they are losing the battle of trying to maintain the "faith-promoting" version of church history as the truth. What's probably happening is that Bushman and his fellows have so many personal friends and relatives that are good people, but have learned that the church's story is false and have either left it or gone inactive, that the Mopologists have come to realize that their old tactics of trying to rebut anti-Mormon info simply no longer work. And it's obvious, which Bushman acknowledges, that Mormons are learning the facts from the internet. What Bushman is saying, in so many words, is that all the apologetic efforts of FARMS and FAIR over the years is fighting a losing battle.

Unfortunately, IMO, Bushman's plea to Mormons who learn the negative facts to remain in the church for its "good stuff" is futile, because when those enlightened Mormons go to church every week, they are still spoon-fed the "faith-promoting" version that they know full well is a crock of crap. So Bushman's plea is sorta like asking intelligent adults to still pretend to believe in Santa Claus, and live their lives as though that was the truth (and pay 10% of their income for life for the privilege.)

Bushman's article has value in that it serves to rebut the "big lie" repeated by apologists like Ash and Daniel Peterson, which is that "No Mormons should be shocked at learning about [Joseph Smith's polygamy practice or any other controversial issue], because the church doesn't hide that information from its members." DUHHH, if that info wasn't censored by church leaders, then NO MORMONS WOULD EVER BE SHOCKED BY LEARNING IT, OR LEAVE THE CHURCH BECAUSE OF IT. The Michael Ashes and Daniel Petersons of Mormondumb need to realize that when they repeat that garbage, they're lying to themselves more than anybody else.


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 18:12
Author: Gullible's Travel's

This 'revived mormon' sounds like a particularly weak and/or desperate individual. If JS had just ONCE said,"I don't know." I may have retained some small amt of respect for him, but no, the insufferable SOB just HAD to have an answer for everything, no matter how absurd!


Subject: Who the hell is running this church? Bushman admits Smith stuck his face in a hat and
Date: Jan 13 18:14
Author: Zeezrom

that its consistent with all the evidence and yet the Church is still teaching through the Joseph Smith Manual that he used an Urim and Thummim which came from Heaven.

Joseph Smith Teaching Manual page 440-441(quoting from The Wentworth Letter)

"With the records was found a curious instrument, which the ancients called ‘Urim and Thummim,’WHICH CONSISTED OF TWO TRANSPARENT STONES SET IN THE RIM OF A BOW FASTENED TO A BREAST PLATE. THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF THE URIM AND THUMMIM I TRANSLATED the record by the gift and power of God."

Then you have Gordon Hinckley telling the media he didn't really know if the church taught that God was once a man!

page 40 from the New Joseph Smith Manual( No suprises here)

"“My first object is to find out the character of the only wise and true God, and what kind of a being He is. …
“GOD HIMSELF WAS ONCE AS WE ARE NOW, AND IS AN EXALTED MAN, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! "

?????? A Farce!


Subject: Re: Who the hell is running this church? Bushman admits Smith stuck his face in a hat and
Date: Jan 13 19:08
Author: 6 iron

This is what bothers me about Bushman's article. The church doesn't say it is just another religion. In fact it calls all other religions the churches of lucifer (remember the temple scene before it was removed). The whole mission statement is that we're the only true church, we have new scriptures because the bible might not be translated correctly and the BofM contains the fullness of the gospel, only we have the authority to perform ordinances. Nobody else has any of this is because "they are all wrong. They teach for commandments the philosophies of man....." Because the church teaches that it is the one and only, we must save all mankind, even dead people, and in order to have it fill the whole earth, we need your sons to go on a mission for 2 years (self financed), we need 10% of your money, we need you to consecrate, in a temple covenant, to give everything to the church, what you learn in the temple is so sacred you agree to have your neck slit open, your heart cut out, and your bowels gushed out. You have to fulfill your callings, take your kids to early morn. seminary, perform priesthood duties, endure prying interviews, have lots of kids to help the church to grow, and be threatened if you leave you will not be a forever family and will go to hell, and because you left we have to shun you because you have betrayed us and God and are not helping the church to grow. etc..... we have done all of this not because it is just another religion, but because we were taught we have the truth, all the truth, and nobody else has the truth, and we are led by a prophet that will never lead us astray. Then you find all the lies, deceptions, disturbing history, cultic stuff, and that JS was a lying scumbag, and I would have kept my wife and daughters away from him and if he ever even talked to them I would have tarred and feathered him myself. Once you find this out about the church it pisses you off big time. I don't know why the would want us around because if anybody is willing to listen to me I will tell them what I discovered. And I'm sorry but for whatever good the church might do, I believe it does more harm than good. It destroys self esteem, shames, punishes, uses church peer pressure, hurts financially, victimizes, turns some people into victimizers, turns you in to an appearance-performance person (scribe and pharisee), instead of the message of Jesus to love, foregive, help etc... I no longer want to worship JS and the church. Church should be a vehicle to worshiping God, not itself.


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 18:43
Author: CSD22

Doug wrote:
> He then offers a recommendation:

> “It is necessary that the church not only shows more support and openness to these ‘apostates’ but also teaches and advises all members, bishops, stake presidents etc., who usually don’t know how to deal with such a situation in terms of organizational and ecclesiastical questions and – out of insecurity – fail to treat the critical member with the necessary love and respect that even a normal stranger would receive.”

For a few years, I was involved with an ex-JW who had a very active JW family. One of the things that struck me the most was their shunning philosophy -- their overt policy to avoid anybody who has committed some rebellious act. (Not the wandering away kind, who can be perhaps reclaimed.)

Their justification was to "protect the Society" from evil influences. From a "true Christian" viewpoint (stabbing at an oft used JW phrase), I would think that avoiding people is the opposite of what the Jesus philosophy should be. However, from an organizational point of view, I see their logic - protecting the organization from all the "lies and untruths spawned by the devil."

Bringing this around to a mormonism point of view, I can't see that encouraging members to seek out apostates would be a good thing. There are reasons people become apostates, and they are good and valid reasons. Personally, I say, "bring 'em on!"

It's a catch 22, coffin corner, or whatever metaphor you want. Mormons believe the truth of mormonism will of course withstand scrutiny. The reality is different though. I see good intentioned mormons becoming more disillusioned with mormonism by talking to apostates, than apostates coming back to the fold by good intentioned members.

Yes, it's a quandry for church leaders, indeed.


Subject: "It's either true or it is a fraud!" - Gordon B. Hinckley
Date: Jan 13 19:14
Author: Stupid Stuff

The church is either BLACK or WHITE by it's own definition!

If you actually enjoy frauds, fine, but don't pretend they are anything else, and you may as well admit that you can easily find frauds that are far more fun such as State Lotteries or Vegas Trips - BUT, these other "frauds" can actually PROVE a RETURN of sorts (even if the odds are stupidly low).

Mormonism can't prove that its odds even exist period.


Subject: So since these issues are real,
Date: Jan 13 19:17
Author: confused

then by his account we must conclude that the church is indeed false. He then submits that we become revived mormons, holding onto Christ's teachings and rejecting or at least accepting things as they are (false).

So then, why not just become Baptist, Methodist or any other denomination? What could the One True hold for us if we accept that it is not? What value are we to our LDS peers if they know we are just acting the part?


Subject: The apologists point to the fact that this book is available at
Date: Jan 13 19:20
Author: dubya

Deseret Book: so the church can't be hiding anything. The fact is, Bushman himself is an apologist, and does not really cover any of the truly troubling aspects of JS or Mormon history--he hits on the problems, without explaining why some of the information is so damning, then immediately tries to give an alternative or possible reason that things are different from the faith promoting story.

I asked John Dehlin about the fact that the BY lesson manual listed only one marriage for BY: read like a true apostle's life history. Left out the other 56, and the fact that he had children by about 19 of them. This cannot be tolerated by a TBM who knows the truth.

John responded "the new manual says in the intro that JS had plural wives, but we don't believe in that anymore, so we are not going to cover it. Now isn't that an improvement?" OK, it is an improvement (brought on by criticism I am sure) but it is not enough.

Joseph was very clear about who the lamanites were, and the intro to the BoM stated it. Now they are running from this 'fact' and still trying to say that Joseph was a great prophet, but fallible. I'm sorry, getting the whole story the BOM is based on wrong is not some minor miss on his part. It proves that he was a farce, and that this whole thing was an outgrowth of his treasure seeking past.

Bushman can not have it both ways. Neither can the GA's. TSCC [this so called church] will split into two parts: those who know the history and those who don't. The GA's will not be able to correlate manuals for both groups, will continue the faith promoting BS, and eventually all of the honest who are haning on for some of the silly reasons that Bushman sites will leave.

That is my opinion, and, as always, I could be wrong.



Subject: Once again, the only possible outcome is continued support of the church.....
Date: Jan 13 19:24
Author: Jonny the Smoke

Even if the true history has been concealed and distorted by the leaders.

Even if the prophets are men learning to be prophets by experimentation and are very capable of failure...both as men and prophets.

Even if the events claimed to be literal aren't literal.

The BIG Question: Can a "revived" mormon remain true to themselves as the author suggests and still qualify for a Temple recommend?? Or are they required to lie for that?


Subject: Hi Doug. Good stuff.
Date: Jan 13 19:40
Author: Doug

I'm another Doug who has been hanging around here for a long time and post occasionally. This is clever stuff and I believe for some it might have merit. It's your tradition, you are entrenched in the stuff, and there's no question there are some good things that come about in the church. Why not ignore the bad and or fight some of the bad internally, take part in the good and not worry too much about it and try to live a decent life?

I have a bunch of Jewish friends who are basically atheists and yet still like the ceremony, enjoy associating, contribute as much as they want, and seem to be fully loved and still an active part of a very interesting and diverse group of people. I like that a lot.

Like the great philosopher and teacher, Bob McCue once said, "Ironically, the admission of uncertainty and ignorance has been the most empowering, enlightening thing in my life."

Bushman's road is the easier road to take, but for many, that road will continue leading them out of the church like it has so many of us who participate here.


Subject: Re: Hi Doug. Good stuff.
Date: Jan 14 04:58
Author: ShocknAwe

Doug writes: Why not ignore the bad and or fight some of the bad internally, take part in the good and not worry too much about it and try to live a decent life?

I tried that for a short time to keep my family happy, Doug, and it was sucking my soul out of me. I would have deserved an academy award if I had worked to pull it off any longer.

First of all are the many callings that we are not to turn down. Most involve teaching. This year's curriculum involves church history. After having been taught my whole life to stand up for the I am to knowingly teach lies?

Then there are the sacrament meeting talks. In my small branch we get assigned to talk about every 4 months and the subject is given to us. Maybe the BP does have divine inspiration because he asked me to speak about Jesus the same time he asked my son to speak on Joseph Smith.

This church is just too demanding to live if you don't believe. Paying 10%, lost sundays, running kids everywhere all week long, callings, weird underwear in the heat, etc., it was never a problem when I believed, but once that was gone, I was starting to grow very bitter at all that was asked of me. I agree with another poster that if we want to attend an imperfect church, there are plenty around with many less flaws and suck a lot less blood out of us.


Subject: An open letter to Mr. Bushman
Date: Jan 13 19:54
Author: Deputy Dawg

13 January 2009

Dear Mr. Bushman,

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the catalyst for my exodus from the LDS church. Up until I read Rough Stone Rolling I was a devoted, convert member for nearly 40 years.

My reason for reading RSR was to augment my already unwavering affection for Joseph Smith. However, you brought to light a history of that man that I never learned before in spite of having attended seminary and institute classes in Church history.

I also served an honorable mission in N/W Argentina, married in the temple, and served in two Bishoprics. Up until my experience with RSR I was what most members would consider a faithful adherent of the Church.

When you brought to my understanding through RSR "further light and knowledge", including information new to me regarding JS Jr. such as his occultist beginnings, the true manner of his "translation" of the BoM, his various brushes with the law, his dalliances with teenage girls and already married women, etc. I found my testimony of the man I revered, deeply challenged.

I suspected that because I had never been taught these things in 40 years as a member of the church I trusted, you must have been in error despite your credentials and scholarship. I had to prove you wrong and began my journey for truth. Fortunately, the truth proved you correct and I knew that I could no longer believe in JS's "divinity" in spite of your attempts to minimalize his obvious defects and frauds.

Thank you so much for your help in bringing me to my current state. That is, that I am convinced, as I believe you are, that COJCOLDS is perpetrating a continuing fraud upon its members of which I want no part.

I believe you are probably a good man who could do so much more good by openly admitting your obvious unbelief of the truthfulness of that which should not be the beneficiary of concealment.

Yours very truly,

Deputy Dawg


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 20:17
Author: 6 iron

Most people on this board identify the church with being a cult. To me that means something. You have to research the damage cults do, and see if it is the same in the church.(imo it is). Maybe if you still go to church and can listen to all the things that offend you (praise to the man etc...) and only do the things that you want (probably won't get a temple rec.) You will still see others or you children being hurt by this cult. Would you tell your sons not to go on a mission? That would be weird because everything in the church is about the growth of the church, and a boys's life is all about going on a mission and all activities are about indoctrinating that the church is the one and only true church and we have to grow it. I just couldn't keep going. It really bugs me that I was indoctrinated to think that JS was this prophet, chosen by God, comparable to all the bible prophets and apostles, only to find out a lying, narcissistic, womanizer. I'm sorry but I've got this new life policy, that is no more narcissists in my life. I've lived my whole life with these types of people and no more. They just use others, shame, control etc... and I've taken control back from the church for my own life. So maybe I was stupid to let the church control my life with all their ridiculus rules, advice etc.. but no more. I decide where I donate my money to, I decide if having an iced tea is ok, I decide if I want to go to church for only 1 hour, I decide what I wear for underwear (that's kind of funny when you think about it), I decide what movies to watch etc... The church just isn't going to control me anymore.


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 20:50
Author: transplant in texas

so joseph had a glass of wine now & then and it was okay huh...hmmmmm, seems like your average mormon ought to be able to have a glass of wine now & then without being flogged for it...after all, it would be following the prophet!


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 20:52
Author: anon member

not to mention the occasional "roll in the hay" with other men's wives and teenage daughters. Woo Hoo! thank you, Joe.


Subject: Deputy Dawg's letter
Date: Jan 13 20:55
Author: 2thdoc

Wow, Deputy Dawg's open letter to Bushman (a couple posts earlier) could have been written by me! I had the EXACT same experience (only my mission was to Bolivia and I only had 30 years of hyperTBMness behind me). I purchased the book expecting to increase my knowledge and testimony to even greater heights but was left, instead, with multiple, "what the...?!" moments. That led me to the internet to further investigate and you know the rest.

Bushman's letter includes such profound insight into the process that I went through in discovering the fraud that I felt it was obvious he spoke from personal experience. A "revived Mormon" is what HE is now trying to be.

In answer to Doug's original question: "Revived Mormon. Never seen one. Have you?" Definitely not. I don't think it's possible except by committing to live a lie and put on an Academy Award winning act.


Subject: What a bunch of BS. This creep is looking for a new audience--his own demographic--"Revived Mormon"
Date: Jan 13 22:12
Author: forestpal

Ha-ha-ha-ha! He is so transparent, it is funny. What is sad, is that people are buying into this, and buying his book(s). I gurantee there will be more. Nice try, but it won't succeed.

This author has no understanding whatsoever of how ex-Mormons think, either collectively or individually. Our integrity, curiosity, and courage is absolutely foreign to him. He thinks he can marginalize and cut from the herd, those of us who are just beginning to find out that Joseph Smith "took a drink or two," and pick us off one by one. Better yet, he can TEACH OUR TBM FAMILY MEMBERS and neighbors how to do squash us. Remember, "the family" is the cult's greatest weapon.

I'm delighted that whatever he has to teach his fellow predatory power-mongers is DEAD WRONG! Keep up the good work, Bushman, and keep your people running in circles out in left field, where y'all won't bother the rest of us as we move straight ahead in the Truth. (I just wish he and the church wouldn't make money off of us, though.)


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 22:18
Author: Roger

I think that the article is actually a very good description of what must be a common occurrence in the church - members who find out things that destroy a "walk by faith" testimony.
There would be many members who have to reconcile their 'forbidden knowledge' with their desire to remain active members for family and other reasons.
I don't think it is a 'plea' for people to stay, but I see it as more descriptive of how people respond to the full church history story. Obviously it is coloured by his own faith and the choice he must have made (as has been said, he would obviously be one of those from the second group he describes).
Having said that, it is obviously written to provide that second option to members who find the full story rather than leaving the church (it must be lonely being bushman! likely wants more 'enlightened' people to associate with).
Suggesting that church leaders treat 'apostates' better is also a good thing. Whether people stay or leave or are 'revived mormons' or whatever, people deserve to be treated with respect and not as unclean because of their choice in relation to religion. It might keep more people in, but it will encourage greater honesty among what people believe too.
so while it minimizes the enormously prejudicial facts JS life, I think it should be read as an attempt to acknowledge truth and be more supportive of those who are devastated when they learn it. Of course he also tries to find a path to keep people in the church.
First post here...I know it defends bushman but hope I survive!


Subject: Re: Rough Stone Rolling author wants us to live a LIE!
Date: Jan 13 23:46
Author: anon 75

God bless him for trying, but Bushman has to know he's fighting a losing battle. Nothing can save the eventual, accelerating demise of the "one and only true church.


Subject: Bushman
Date: Jan 14 03:45
Author: Sad5

I met the guy last spring. He came up to my University to give a lecture in a Joseph Smith history class. What did I learn from him?

He's crazy as hell.

Sure, he's quite the intellectual, but he still said some very strange things. Like 'deny your thoughts' kind of crazy.

He defended Joseph Smith sleeping with under age girls by saying: "Hey, it was totally legal! The parents consented to their relationship, so I don't think anyone can complain. There was nothing wrong with that."

If what you believed to be the one true Prophet of God came to you and told you that God wanted him to play with your daughter and that you needed to consent, I think you would probably consent. I don't see how this justifies his terrible actions.

He also bashed Krakauers' "Under the Banner of Heaven," saying it was an awful book. To which all the Mormons in the class laughed hysterically at.

At one point he started bragging about when he was a bishop and when he had spoken with the first presidency.

After the class he even went so far as to approach an apostate student and attempt to reconvert them. The audacity of the man! I can't stand the guy.


Subject: I know, because I was there!
Date: Jan 14 04:18
Author: Don Bagley

Joseph Smith "may have had glass of wine or two?" I was taught that he refused all alcoholic beverages at every point in his life!

The first time I drank a beer, my father told me he was ashamed to have an "alcoholic" son. They don't get to take this back! They don't get to have their lies forgiven. We are talking about God here. You don't get to lie about supreme beings.

Either Joe Smith drank wine or he didn't. Did he seduce young women or not?

They don't get to play coy now. They pointed their collective fingers at me, and they called me a sinner. There's no going back.


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