It's pretty sad to think that they're out there taking on this self-righteous role as missionaries guiding benighted gentiles to the "fullness of the gospel," but haven't even bothered to read the so-called four books that supposedly constitute the core understanding of their "gospel."
Of course it's all a big social club with a religious theme and these "missionaries" just do what the social club expects them to do so that they can stay in good standing. If they really studied and understood any of it, they would be here with us.
...When I asked them about people becoming gods or the 1890's style magic Mormon bloomers there was total silence--and they they claimed not to know anything about Joseph Smith having multiple wives or sex with under age girls either...
Thanks for at least trying to answer some of my questions. I am a bit disappointed that you weren't able to answer all of them. My mistake was in thinking that the LDS / Mormon church was just another church --- it isn't. Mormonism is a complete way of life--much more akin to Islam (not in theology, but in scope) than a standard basic Christian denomination ( like Baptists, Methodists, etc) . Try to look at this from my point of view. You move to a new place, don't know anyone, and a friend suggests going to church to meet new people. You have heard of the Mormon church but you don't really know much about it in detail so you decide to look it up. What you find is a lot of very strange things so you go straight to the horse's mouth to find out what the straight story is. That's how I wound up contacting you.
I think you are going to have a difficult time trying to get people to join your church. It didn't take me but two or three weeks to find out about the history of Mormonism, how the LDS church got started, inconsistencies between the LDS official story of Joseph Smith's life and the actual historical evidence, strange and different theology, legacy of racism, peculiar practices and so on. When I tried to ask you about these things, you seemed shocked that I would ask about them or didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Here's a sample:
** Misspellings, bad grammar and plagiarism (i.e. whole passages copied from the Bible) in the Book of Mormon
** Smith's neighbours in New York gave evidence that he was con artist and he was actually prosecuted for fraud and disorderly conduct
** A close friend of Joseph Smith named Peter Ingersoll said that Smith told him that he found some white sand in a creek bed after a rainstorm while walking home and wrapped in up in his work shirt. When his family asked him to see it, he jokingly told him in a grave manner that it was the "ancient gold bible from Canada" and all who tried to see it would fall dead
** The few people who actually dared to look in the box that supposedly contained the ancient gold plates reported seeing nothing but bricks or sand
** Smith "translated" the plates by remote viewing -- he put his head in a hat with magic seer stones (commonly used for divination like birch rods) and dictated the text
** Smith used polygamy as a ruse to satisfy his sexual desires and was almost castrated by a lynch mob
** Mormons are not Christians (as they claim to be) nor are they monotheistic. The Mormon pantheon acknowledges many past, present, and future Gods, and one of the basic tenets of the faith says that humans can become gods themselves ("As Man is, God once was. As God is, Man may become..." )
** Mormon temple rituals, robes, and undergarments are no longer secret and details are easily obtainable online.
** According to Mormon theology, when humans were spirits in heaven they fought over whether or not human beings would have free will. One third were in favour, one third were against, and one third were neutral. Those that were in favour became humans on Earth, those against became demons, and the neutral or less valiant third were allowed to become humans but were "cursed" with dark skin.
I have no axe to grind here and I have nothing against Mormons. I was just trying to find out what the truth was. I've been to Nauvoo, IL and I know that Mormons were horribly persecuted for their religion and faced extermination and ethnic cleansing. No one will ever really know Smith really saw or what what actually was (if anything) revealed to him. Was he a flawed conflicted man who was actually chosen by God or did he make the whole thing up? Why the ruse of the gold plates? Did he feel that no one would believe him if he had nothing tangible?
You asked me to pray about the veracity of the Book of Mormon. After speaking with you the other night I was flipping channels for something to watch while eating dinner. A western movie was on Showtime about settlers crossing Utah on their way to California so I decided to watch it. This movie was about the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1857--a wagon train was attacked by Mormons and the survivors were shot in the back of the head execution style. Only those eight years old or younger were allowed to live (and of course were to be raised as Mormons). I took this "revelation" as my answer. I probably think too much and ask too many questions to join your church.
Just borrow the "l" and the "s" from LDS and you get "bolloks," which is the key to understanding what Mormons try to feed you when they realize that they have no forking clue what anything in their religion really means.
Of course her answer about Kolob being a metaphor is one of those classic PIOYA (pull it out yer ass) responses that TBMs and especially missionaries are famous for. In this case, it's not entirely without precedent...as Nibley came up with this particular PIOYA many years ago and it seems to be liked by Mormons who are embarassed to think of their religion in terms of a badly written Star Trek episode.
She is on to something, but she's got it backwards. Jesus and his Twelve (along with most religious themes) are actually metaphors for actual celestial bodies. That's why solstices and equinoxes are such a central (but often hidden) aspect.
I also noted that Kolob spelt backward is Bolok, very similar to Bollock! I think that this was a deliberate choice by JS. He made up the BoA and had so little respect for his followers that he used an anagram of Bollock for one of the central themes of his fictional book. Here in the UK, when something is total nonsense, it is said to be Bollocks, which is exactly what the BoA is! How can any thinking person believe any of it?
I also noted that Kolob spelt backward is Bolok, very similar to Bollock! I think that this was a deliberate choice by JS. He made up the BoA and had so little respect for his followers that he used an anagram of Bollock for one of the central themes of his fictional book. Here in the UK, when something is total nonsense, it is said to be Bollocks, which is exactly what the BoA is! How can any thinking person believe any of it? Since the Rosetta Stone, Smith's "translation" has been proven to be totally bogus.
I have been saying for some time now that the church is moving toward the BOM as an inspired epic, like but superior to, the Bible parables. Questioning offensive doctrines will be treated with ridicule, like, you fool! It is a parable. IT IS TRUE means the teachings are true! Did you think it was meant literally? Why even the DNA shows it couldn't be literal. No, God made it so only those whose hearts were softened would understand the meaning. And we always taught that.
An example of this teaching, which is how it's "always" been will be the temple phrase "it is figurative as far as the man and the woman are concerned."
I've been thinking about this too, anagrammy. I believe that you are correct in your prediction. In fact, I would advise the Mormons to move quickly toward the metaphorical BoM. Otherwise, they're going to lose a lot more members. What's maddening is, as you said, the Mormons will claim it was always that way.
They'll make their boobie faces and say, "Why didn't you know this already? Perhaps the spirit wasn't with you in your anti-mormon state of mind."
This is indeed a possibility. But there is another one. Often, when groups feel threatened (which they could after the "daylighting" which is starting due to Mitt) they often revert to their core philosophy. This often means becoming more secretive. playing only to the most devout, and spurning any questioning.
It is also possible that the main church could do as you suggest, and we get neo-fundementalist off-shoots. In that scenrio we would have the Josephite/polygamist fundies. The neo-fundies, practicing mormonism as it is known today. And then the main church claiming the BOM is only metaphor and continuing to mainstream.
As far as I have understood, Kolob has always been the literal home star system of God, but it also an analogy for the relationship of God to Jesus Christ. According to an old Ensign article I once read on the subject, Mormons believe that God created the whole universe, and how the stars moved in that universe, to serve as a metaphor about Jesus Christ. Personally, that all sounds like a lot of work, and sounds like the cosmic equivalent of a dictator painting a giant mural of himself.
"Lamanite" is just a metaphor now too. It means, anyone who resides in central/south America and joins the church. They're adopted as a Lamanite, no matter what their DNA says. Lamanite is a spiritual/covenant tribe, not physical clan.
They sure have a hard time confronting the fact that this book (BoM) might be fiction. Someone said it is a book of belief and faith not one of absolute facts of linguistics, archeology, DNA etc. But faith and belief should come from some kind of historical background to make the faith something that can be trusted.