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Posted by: Hold Your Tapirs ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 12:43PM

Mormonthink has been an invaluable resource for me. Thank you to all contributors (former and present) to the site. I know that a lot of hidden hours go into the maintenance of the site. It is very much appreciated. I have referred many to the site.

That being said, there seems to be a noticeable shift in the "tone" of the site. It seems to be more critical. It seems to have an ulterior motive (the downfall of the church) that it didn't have (on the surface, at least) a couple years ago. It seemed, in the past, to have the goal of being viewed as an objective (arguably neutral) resource. However, this doesn't seem to be the objective today.

However, this approach means that it becomes more difficult to refer TBMs to Mormonthink as it is less likely to be viewed as objective and will quickly be dismissed as "anti-Mormon."

I don't have any valuable insight on this. I simply wanted to open a dialogue regarding the "best and highest" use of Mormonthink. How can Mormonthink maximize the utility that it provides? Personally, I think Mormonthink should err on the side of objectivity and neutrality. It can then continue to link to more critical sites (as well as faithful) that attempt to hold the church accountable (and advertise the Tom Phillips ex-mo conf appearance, for example). Selfishly speaking, this would allow me to continue to refer people to it.

I can't emphasize this enough; thanks to all those that keep Mormonthink going....... Any viewership statistics updates that Mormonthink can provide? I hope the site continues to have a record number of eyeballs looking at it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2013 12:07AM by Susan I/S.

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Posted by: dot ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 12:45PM


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Posted by: Mormoney ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 12:49PM

Mormonthink I believe definitely has an objective. And that is to not only offer perspectives from both sides, but to explain the facts, cold and hard as they may be. Having said that, I do agree that it's important I think to make it as comfortable as possible, at least initially to get TBMs to view it. Although I can't really comment on how well that is achieved on the current MT website. It is however, an invaluable resource for those who are studying their way out of the church.

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 12:55PM

It started when FAIR unfairly characterized some content on MT, We rebutted them very tactfully and objectively back in around 2010 (I think). They were desperate to get us back and instead of engaging in actual discussions of history and doctrine, FAIR decided to find all the personal material on contributors they could. They posted ad hominem attacks on Spongebob (editor/contributor) and LDS Truth Seeker (another). The personal attacks showed an ugly side of FAIR. and it appeared they were digging out information to decode the actual identity of contributors, the founder and other editors.

The church fired the next volley by going after the MT founder and ply pressure on him and his family to take down the site or face excommunication. It disrupted his family life and more.

When I took the reigns, they quickly came after me and threatened excommunication in the middle of the Romney campaign. FAIR launched a personal attack, including several lies about me, which partly caused serious family disruption and even loss of time with my children (the ex believed the lies and refused to allow visits, despite court orders--an issue I will resolve legally when the time is right). Because of the personal heat, I resigned publicly and not to the liking of some exmos. You can't please all the people...

Tom took the reigns next, and being that he has the 2nd anointing, and given the poor history of bad publicity they received going after previous managing editors, the church has shied from stepping back into it. However, Tom has taken personal hits and has had his own "crosses" to bear. I will let him decide if he wants to discuss them.

If the tone of us contributors is harsh, the site still has the same level of material and the same unbiased approach in the articles. The website will remain objectie and as nuetral as it has been

Personal activities by public editors are not officially sponsored by MT.

But we welcome other viewpoints.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2013 01:00PM by Jesus Smith.

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Posted by: MormonThinker ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 01:07PM

It should be noted: Everytime FAIR or the church has come after us in personal attacks, the site has increased in visits and readership by many factors. The attacks raise our visibility. Many of us don't believe that shying completely away from the attacks lends us credibility, but actually goes to show how the church is critical of thinking, pro-truth members and those who search for facts.

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Posted by: Hold Your Tapirs ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 01:15PM

Excellent point.

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Posted by: Ex-CultMember ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 01:05PM

I wonder if there's kind of a milk before the meat website layout they could implement, where upon entering the site it appears to have a more neutral tone, but after one is on the website for a while, peeling back layers, or link upon link, then it gets a little more straight forward. Maybe it could have the "safe sounding" articles on the front page of MormonThink, but then have links on those pages to another website managed by MormonThink, wherein it gives more of the straight dope.

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 01:11PM

We've discussed this. One plan could be: When the LDS church releases its milk based response to the issues, MT will be there with a milk-based objective view. When the LDS church provides a second level of deeper "ground meat" response to the issues, we may provide content to respond where they lack content or factual answers. In the LDS deepest meat response, we may simply link to already existing MT articles.

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Posted by: kizdar ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 02:32PM

When dealing with those used to the "milk before meat" method of digesting information, that is a wise consideration. I'd agree that formatting with that in mind is advantagous. Nothing like a surprise hunk of truth blindsiding someone thus schooled...the reaction is always repulsion instead of attraction.

Also is there a benefit or loss regarding the fact that is like an advertisement scam with pro-LDS stuff? The fact that a questioning TBM may go to THAT website by accident and want helpful information but are put-off by its strangeness has me wondering. They wouldn't have the wherewithal to change it dot-com. Thus never ever going any further. Are the two sites run even by though? Or did LDS purchase the domain and make it a creepy ad thingy just to put off the curious and internet un-savvy? Dot-com,'s all the same and all that...

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Posted by: MTfounder ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 01:22PM

Actually as the sections continue to be edited, any overly negative comments are being eliminated. Sometimes offsite comments by FAIR and others make it not seem that way but the actual content of the site continues to go more neutral.

If there are specific comments on the site itself that anyone thinks should be edited, please email the editors at

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Posted by: Mormoney ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 01:45PM

Out of curiosity, has there been any research done on the FAIR website to point out contradictions in their logic? Perhaps that would make a good MT article. Contradictions like: It was not considered a revelation because it did not include the words "Thus saith the Lord" and another article might say, The words "Thus saith the Lord" or are not required for it to be considered a revelation.

I'm sure there are a lot of contradictions between articles and their attempts at logic since they really have to pull things out of their asses to generate answers to the problems that are indefensible.

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Posted by: MTfounder ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 01:53PM

Mormoney Wrote:
> Out of curiosity, has there been any research done
> on the FAIR website to point out contradictions in
> their logic?

Not by MT but MT did respond to FAIR's attacks on MT and corrected their many mistatements about MT. First in 2009 and then again in 2012.

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Posted by: Tom Phillips ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 02:10PM

The primary purpose of MormonThink is to present the truth about Mormon doctrines and history. If anyone points out that we have published something that is untruthful, we will apologise and amend the item. Is or FAIR willing to do likewise? No.

The site tries to be objective. It does link to sites that are critical of the church, but it also links to sites supporting the church.

Certainly we do not wish to put off members of the church earnestly researching the truth of a topic. But neither do we wish to 'sugar coat' it in a way that would be untruthful and lure the unsuspecting.

Editorially, we do try to remain objective. However, we have our own personal views which may seem harsher (though truthful). For example,Jesus Smith maintains a blog, I post on RFM PoM. In that way we separate what is posted on MormonThink (as neutral and objective as we can be) from our own personal views from which we absolve MT.

As Jesus Smith mentioned each of us have paid a terrible price from the family destroying tactics of the so called true church. We have suffered immensely and our only 'sin' we tell the truth. Daily I receive emails from innocent seekers of truth facing harrowing consequences of choosing truth over fiction. We try not to let these feelings effect our comments on MT.

However, when the church is free to express lies e.g. its appalling statement re the SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage, and the Givens' type firesides, we consider it only fair to express the truth in a forthright manner.

We only want the church to tell the truth to its members, including our families. Is that too harsh an expectation? We are not "anti-Mormons" we are "pro truth". The church and FAIR have repeatedly demonstrated they are "anti-truth" so they should be held to account.

The above are my views as managing editor of MT. Now, as Tom Phillips victim of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I say:-

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles tells lies, therefore I feel justified in calling him a liar. Now, that may be offensive to TBMs, but let them refute my claim. Here are examples of some of his deliberate lies made in public. They have been pointed out to him, but he refuses to apologise for or justify his claims.

A few of his deliberate lies:-

Joseph and Hyrum died because they refused to deny their faith.

Joseph and Hyrum were martyrs.

The Book of Mormon has been examined for over 179 years and still stands (implying it has not been proven false)

There are no credible accounts of the authorship of the BoM other than an angel delivered gold plates to JS who translated them by the power of God.

Mitt Romney never made blood oaths in the temple - when challenged, he had to admit Mitt had and then tried to spin the matter and make it sound less ridiculous than it actually is.

He knew nothing about the Strengthening the Members Committee, then had to admit he did.

Said he was not a 'dodo' because he had read a few books and went to a good school. Everyone I know who saw that immediately said he was a 'dodo' and that he how he is referred to.

He said to the reporter on TV "give me a list of these people (meaning those who had raised serious questions about the church) and I will meet with them'. He has been contacted a number of times by those willing and eager to meet with him. They have stated they will meet at his convenience, at any time or venue. Not only has he not arranged such a meeting, he has ignored every request. I offer to meet with people while I'm being interviewed on TV, then I immediately reneg. He either lied in making the offer (because he had no intention of having such a meeting) or he changed his mind afterwards because he is a coward. If the latter, he may not have lied but he is certainly rude and disrespectful in failing to acknowledge the requests for the meeting he proposed. Some 'good and noble man' he is. Liar or snivelling coward?

He said as an apostle he does not get involved in politics, then hosted a meeting in his office (where he carries out his apostolic duties) to plan a group supporting Mitt Romney's candidacy for POTUS. (Other GAs were even more actively involved such as Craig Zwick who was a prominent fundraiser for Mitt, using his church email to encourage others to donate).

I could state other lies but that will do for these purposes except the biggest lie:-

He solemnly stated, before God and angels, the BoM was true. That is a blatant lie for all the reasons I outlined in my letter to him. The BoM is proven to be a work of 19th century fiction, written by JS with or without the help of others.

What makes this such a big lie is the fact that Holland knows it is a lie. He of all people. One of his masters degrees is on the changes to the BoM, his PhD is in American Studies. he has a career in CES and president of BYU. He of all people knows it is a fraud. That is why he is so shifty when interviewed by a BBC journalist rather than a tame PR interviewer or fawning admirer. If he were honest and had nothing to hide, he would be able to answer questions and not be flustered and have to change his answer.

My letter to him gave unequivocal evidence the BoM was a work of 19th century, and not a truthful account of a people on the American Continent, replete with scientific and other errors, including those of doctrine important (crucial) to Mormonism. He failed to address one concern because he knew he couldn't. He knows it's a sham

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2013 12:10AM by Susan I/S.

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Posted by: Bamboozled ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 03:49PM

Dodo has a testimony. That trumps everything you just said.

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Posted by: jiminycricket ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 02:47PM

Oh God, Hear The Words of Our Mouths:

We love our MormonThink editors and contributors. Tons and Tons!

In The Name of, AMEN.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2013 04:34PM by jiminycricket.

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Posted by: fudley ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 05:20PM

First of all, MT - you folks are rock stars. THANK YOU.

I read mormonthink when I was good and ready for it. There is just too much information that is way too damaging for a beginner to handle. It might plant seeds, but TBM's encountering the site will engage the flight or fight response almost immediately.

I believe MT has three primary user groups:

1.Apostate/GA/Apologist/Savy Lay Leader/Media/Scholar: Uses MT as a reference index. This group is interested in a comprehensive summary of common exmormon positions and arguments.

2. The questioning LDS skeptic: Someone who is able to truly explore fallibility.

3. Investigator and the investigator's friends and family.

I think if MT caters to TBM's (as a "soft" portal to ex content), it will negatively impact the needs of its primary users. I think many other sites already fill needs that the OP alludes to like MS, You Tube, Wiki, Blogs, and a hundred other sites.

MT fulfills a needed niche and it is obviously working. Keep it Up!
...My ramblimg for what it's worth.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2013 05:20PM by fudley.

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Posted by: MTfounder ( )
Date: June 28, 2013 10:57AM

duplicate post

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2013 10:58AM by mtfounder.

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Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 03:45PM

Thanks for your thoughts.

One thing to keep in mind. As of a few months ago, the LDS church did not filter MormonThink.Com from the LDSAcess routers in chapels. You can get to the site from inside the chapel on the LDS church internet connection. If it is antimormon, or if the LDS church does not want members to look, then why don't they block it?

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Posted by: Carrots Tomatoes and Radishes ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 03:59PM

I agree, and I think it would be great if MormonThink had absolutely no hint of an intention to bring down the church because Mormons will read it and if it seems completely objectionable and even slightly leaning towards the church, they would be very willing to read it, AND they would still be starting to learn the problems of the church that no one else could get through their heads.

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 04:10PM

To some degree this is impossible to do. To expose the truth is opposite of the agenda of the church.

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Posted by: Carrots Tomatoes and Radishes ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 04:17PM

That is true. Sometimes I do get caught up in wishful thinking. I did want to let you know though that I find Mormon Think to be a fantastic source. Thank you so much for everything you guys do!

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Posted by: The Oncoming Storm - bc ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 04:20PM

It can also be disingenuous to act too neutral. It seems to overall have about the right balance in my opinion of not being aggressive but also not shying away from telling the real truth. One huge challenge is that the actual, real evidence is HEAVILY weighted towards the LDS church being false. There really aren't that many compelling arguments on the other side that aren't just ridiculous.

Furthermore the general apologetic approaches are:

A) Ignore the details and just talk about warm fuzzies.

B) Go after red herrings that don't address the actual details.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2013 04:24PM by The Oncoming Storm - bc.

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Posted by: Mormoney ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 04:23PM

My thoughts exactly

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Posted by: exdrymo ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 09:58PM

Agreed. If it were possible, someone would have done it already.

It's like trying to come up with a recipe to disguise liver in a way your kids will eat it.

TBMs can smell the slightest whiff of criticism a mile away.

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Posted by: Rambo ( )
Date: June 27, 2013 04:19PM


Couldn't agree more!

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