The Mormon Temple

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Updated December 15, 2008 (more than a year after the article was written).

I have been amazed by the comments from believing Mormons as well as non-Mormons about this article. Some of them have thanked me for being honest and not really giving a rat's ass about who might be offended, and others have tried their best to shame me in to repentance for some kind of sin that I must have committed. I find it very funny that people assume I am some kind of Satan-possessed crazy person who makes up lies about the church I used to believe in.

You really couldn't be further from the truth. I guess that is what a lot of people have a problem with in the Mormon Church... the truth. It's not faith promoting, it's not something that is easy to read or hear, but it's true.

If you are a Mormon, and you don't want to read the truth (I mean it... It's the truth, like it or not...) then stop reading right here and right now. If you keep reading, fine. I just don't want to hear about how evil I must be to "make up" all these things about the temple.

I STAND BY EVERYTHING ON THIS ARTICLE.

You can disagree with me and call me names, threaten me (yep, it happened), and freak out all you want to... but the article stays. Deal.

So, if you want to leave a comment on this article and claim how wrong I am, you should be willing to prove your point. The more comments I get from people professing I am making these things up the more I wonder if you know anything about the church you belong to at all!

Again, if you want to call me a liar, back it up.

Andee


Growing up in the Mormon Church, I was always taught that going to the temple would be a wonderful spiritual experience. I was taught that everything that takes place inside the temple was sacred (secret) and not to be spoken of outside the temple. Many Mormons will be upset about some of the things I am explaining here, but I think it's important to share it.

You have to be a Mormon in Good Standing to be able to enter a Mormon temple. Your bishop holds a meeting with you if you desire to go to the temple, and he makes sure you are paying all of your tithing, and asks you these questions:

  1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?
  2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Christ and of His role as Savior and Redeemer?
  3. Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?
  4. Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?
  5. Do you live the law of chastity?
  6. Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
  7. Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
  8. Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
  9. Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
  10. Are you a full-tithe payer? Do your keep the Word of Wisdom?
  11. Do you have financial or other obligations to a former spouse or children? If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
  12. If you have previously received your temple endowment: Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple? Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?
  13. Have there been any sins or misdeeds in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but have not been?
  14. Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord's house and participate in temple ordinances?
Mormon Temple in Logan, Utah

I know many people who have gone to their bishop and lied to get the recommend in order to attend a wedding in their family. Supposedly, the temple is so sacred, that anyone stepping foot inside the temple while not being worthy to be there would immediately be found out by some sort of spiritual discernment. One of the men with the priesthood would gaze upon the unworthy member and immediately ask them to leave. There are many faith-promoting stories of this happening, but none have been proven.

There are also cases of non-Mormons getting a hold of temple recommends and entering the temple and never been found out. One such case is mentioned on the Eight Hour Lunch Podcast #22 titled Possummomma Goes to the Temple. Possummomma was raised Catholic and tells of her adventure in the LDS temple. It's funny, and informative.

Mormons go to the temple to perform many different ceremonies. Here are a few of the ceremonies and what I have learned about them...

The endowment ceremony. This ceremony is a 2 hour drama/ritual that is presented by temple workers. The Salt Lake City temple as well as the Manti temple still have the live drama, while the rest of the temples throughout the world depict this ceremony on screen through a movie. The men and women are separated, men on one side of the room, and women on the other. Temple patrons put on robes with the help of temple workers at certain times in the ceremony. The climatic end of the endowment ceremony is when the men and women get new names. All the men get the same name on the same day, same as the women. You are supposed to use this name as well as the secret handshakes you learn to get into heaven after you die. (The fact that God is going to need a fake name and secret handshakes for you to get into heaven is laughable.) Women are supposed to give their husbands their temple name so the husband can call for her in heaven, on the other hand, men share their "secret" name with no one. Another example of sexism in the church.

One of the secret handshakes taught in the temple, click the photo for more.

After a person has received his/her endowments in the temple, they are required to wear temple garments. Temple garments are underwear with symbols sewn into them in different areas. These garments are supposed to protect the person wearing them, as well as keep the person "with the spirit" in their life.




Mormon Temple Garments

Baptism for the Dead. This ceremony really bothers me, and I consider it morally wrong. A Mormon is given the names of people who have passed away, and they are baptized by proxy into the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church has, in the past, baptized Jews who died in concentration camps into the Mormon Church, and when family members found this out, sued the Mormon Church... and won. It's an ego the church has that says "We know what is true and right, and we are going to baptize you into this religion whether you like it or not." Religion is as personal as it can get, and for them to blanket baptize people shows how little respect the Church has for other beliefs. Growing up, my Mom was taught that doing baptisms for the dead was an honor, and now that we are both seeing things differently, we believe differently.

Marriage and sealings that take place in the temple are not only for this life, but for eternity. Mormons believe the only way to be with your family in heaven is to be sealed to them in a temple, and in order to stay sealed to their family, they must remain faithful Mormons.

The Mormon temple ceremonies have changed a few times throughout the years. When Joseph Smith supposedly received revelation about these ceremonies and how they should be performed, he took most of the ceremonies from the Freemasons. There are many similarities in the ceremonies in Mormon temples and Masonic ceremonies. Some of the symbols carved into Mormon temples also come directly from Freemasons. Joseph Smith made sure everyone knew that the ceremonies should never be changed, but in 1990 the ceremonies did change to get rid of death penalties acted out within the temple for revealing any of the secrets of the temple. These penalties can be seen on this YouTube Video.



There are many rumors that sexual things happened inside the temple, and I want to state that this simply isn't true. No sexual contact takes place within Mormon temples.

There is much more to the temples, and I will make more posts about it in the future.


160 comments:

  1. Doug Says:

    Hi Sydney, thanks for the mention. I love your site layout. Very nice.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Thanks Doug!!! Hope things are well!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I hope that you truly understand and recognize the position that you as a "former LDS member" have put yourself in. Good luck to you

  1. Sydney Says:

    Dear Anonymous,

    You obviously think I am making a huge mistake by sharing this information with the world, and you are entitled to that opinion. However, you are coming from a position of assuming you are correct... my research has led me to a completely different conclusion, and if you did the research as well, you might just agree with everything I have to say.

    I do truly understand and recognize the position I have put myself in.

    I refuse to sit back and see my friends and family lied to. I refuse.

    Next time, post with your real name... what are you afraid of? :) Wait, you probably don't want people to know you are even reading my blog, do you?

    Interesting when you have to hide what you read from the "brethren" isn't it? Red flag buddy. Red. Flag.

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    Isn't it interesting how the pious, for all their homage to turning the other cheek, love to use their gods to threaten people with violence more than just about anyone?

    Implicit in "I hope you truly understand" is the threat that something truly awful awaits you. It is not meant to enlighten, it is meant to engender fear. Too bad it doesn't work on me.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    You obviously don't know anything at all. Your facts are all screwed up, but then again you wouldn't do something as stupid as this if you didn't hold some kind of grudge. Grow up and get over it.

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    I can't see where she's gotten any of her facts wrong. Perhaps you could be so kind as to point out specifically which facts you disagree with (rather than attacking Sydney), and we can address them like adults.

  1. Sydney Says:

    "You obviously don't know anything at all. Your facts are all screwed up, but then again you wouldn't do something as stupid as this if you didn't hold some kind of grudge. Grow up and get over it."

    Wow, do tell me which facts I have wrong. Please. Explain it.

    The church is lying to people, and I am not stupid. I am far from it. I probably know more about Mormon history than you. Again, if I am so stupid and so wrong prove it.

    As for holding a grudge, you are right. I was lied to, treated horribly, and I am really pissed about it. I am going to do everything I can to make sure that anyone reading my blog gets the real truth.

    Again, if you are going to come to the blog and say things, why are you hiding behind anonymous comments? If you are so proud of your knowledge of Mormon history and facts, use your name. What are you afraid of? Don't be a coward.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Thanks for the backup Doug. I really appreciate it. My facts have been double checked, I am actually pretty proud of this article I put together months ago...

    I hope Mr. Anonymous comes back to prove his case. I hope he's not all talk! :)

  1. Dutch Says:

    Sydney,
    Your information is correct. Mr. AnonymASS is a Morg-hole. If his religion (cult, actually) can't take the scrutiny, maybe it shouldn't be recognized.

  1. Sydney Says:

    I am actually surprised he came back at all... I am really looking forward to what facts he thinks I have wrong. My sources check out.

    Thanks for the comment, Dutch.

  1. Brother Zip Says:

    Sydney, do you know what position you've put yourself in? Now anyone who knows the secret handshake can get past the angels and sentinals, watering down the eternal celestial geen pool. THANKS ALOT.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Yes, Brother Zip.

    What on earth was I thinking? I will burn in Hell for sure now. I must go directly to my bishop and repent. I must pray... I must start paying 10% of everything I have to an organization that spends very little on humanitarian needs compared to it's own interests.

    I am a horrible person. ;)

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hey there Sydney,

    Being a scholar and in the church (I'm a Sociology lecturer) I can understand peoples real disgust with temple ordinances and so forth. But I must tell you that I've investigated the church thoroughly since I was 19 (I was baptised into the church) and I find that in all things, there are rational arguments which can suggest it is wrong.

    But to be honest, I can't find anything rational to understand the feelings that I've felt in the temple, at my baptism, on my mission....there is just no rational explanation for any of it. Feelings that I can't begin to describe to you and emotions that are real. What you've done in this blog is basically say that those feelings were wrong and completely manufactured.

    I can't begin to say how dumb it was that the other 'member' who posted here threatened you. No-one has the right to do that.

    But you also don't have the right to tell a whole bunch of people that their feelings are misguided and badly judged nor to perpetuate that the mormon church is somehow manufacturing lies.

    In the end however, I'm not interested in bashing these things with you. In the end, I just hope that you take some time to think about how much 'actual good' the Mormon church does as opposed to how much 'actual bad' is out there before you choose to completely degrade our beliefs and our very personal spiritual practices.

    Unlike the other guy, I'm more than willing to leave my name....

    Nick (sorry I don't have a tag...don't really know what that means anyway...)

  1. Sydney Says:

    Nick,

    It's good to meet you. Thank you for sharing your opinion with respect. I really appreciate that.

    As for the feelings you mention, they are not evidence. The warm-fuzzies, or burning in the bosom, do not mean something is true or untrue. Feelings are just feelings.

    I get warm fuzzy feelings when I do good deeds, like volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I get them when I hear a song that isn't specifically about God or any church. I get them reading a good book, even if that good book isn't exactly "Church Approved" material.

    Those warm fuzzy feelings you are describing are unreliable. They fool you, they trick you. You can't decide something is true or false strictly on feelings alone.

    As for saying: "But you also don't have the right to tell a whole bunch of people that their feelings are misguided and badly judged nor to perpetuate that the mormon church is somehow manufacturing lies."

    Respectfully, you are wrong. I do have the right to do that. It is called free speech, and it is actually a duty. I know the evidence toward the church being true doesn't add up. There are reasons the church is trying to change things as quietly as possible, and not mentioning certain things about their own history.

    People have a right to know the full story. The church isn't giving them that full story. How was the Book of Mormon really translated? I was shown paintings of Joseph Smith sitting at a desk, plates in plain sight, along with his scribe. Unfortunately, that isn't what happened at all. Joseph Smith translated those plates with his head buried in a hat. The plates were not even in the room. How many Mormons know that? I can promise you, not many.

    Your beliefs are my former beliefs. I have never bashed any specific Mormon except those that I feel have lied to the very people that trusted them. If you disagree, please point out where I did this.

    I do believe that we should love one another, be kind to our neighbors, and help our fellow man. Those good things are in the church, yes... but they are also outside the church. I know many people who grew up in many different religions that have the ability to love and respect their fellow man.

    I honestly don't think that the church can give out anything that a kind and loving person can learn on their own. My character isn't defined by my religion, or my lack their of.

    Before I sign off, please know that it wasn't my intent to "degrade your personal practices," it was to share with people the honest truth. Something the church wont give them.

    Sydney

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    Count the logical fallacies:

    1) "Being a scholar and in the church" - Argument from authority.

    2)"But I must tell you that I've investigated the church thoroughly since I was 19" - Argument from authority.

    3)"I can't find anything rational to understand the feelings that I've felt in the temple, at my baptism, on my mission." - This is not a logical fallacy, it is an admission of guilt. You may as well say, "I'm going ahead with what I want, evidence be damned, in spite of my not having any good reason for it."

    4)"Feelings that I can't begin to describe to you and emotions that are real." - Appeal to emotion

    5)"I just hope that you take some time to think about how much 'actual good' the Mormon church does as opposed to how much 'actual bad' is out there" - Appeal to Consequences of a Belief

    I've left out a few to save time, but my point is that any of your arguments could used to defend any ideology. And she has as much right to tell you you are misguided as you have to tell her she's misguided in telling you so.

    In fact, it's our obligation as fellow human beings to point out the errors in each other's thinking. If you were right, you continue being right. If you were wrong, you can correct it and improve your life. What kinder gift could there be?

  1. Sydney Says:

    Thanks Doug!

    Emotions can back up anything...

    Don't you think suicide bombers get that warm-fuzzy feeling that they are doing what is right for God before they kill innocent people?

    It's all about perception, and reading the emotions the way you want.

    I am not linking Mormons with suicide bombers... just using an analogy.

    And again, it is not only my right to speak the truth its my duty to stand up for what is right. People deserve to know the whole truth.

  1. Brother Zip Says:

    I would suggest taking a broader view, outside of mormonism. I know we were taught that the church is the end all, be all, but it isnt. There are so many feelings and emotions that are beautiful in the world, but the mormon church identifies theirs as being straight from God to testify that they are true. Mormons love to meet and reinforce those feelings, when they are largely coming from one sided views. Its the spiritual equivalent to a US Patent.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney,

    Thanks for allowing me to share my comment with you and for your 'respectful' mannerisms in response. That much I can appreciate even if we do wildly disagree.

    You may say you have the right to show us the error of our ways, and to be honest, I cannot deny that right. You have freedom of speech in the ultimate neutral zone (although one may agree that this is not neutral at all anymore -- the internet that is). I don't wish to really continue along with that argument anymore because what you decide to do with you life and your knowledge is entirely up to you.

    As for your comments and that of eighthourlunches who I see as not being so respectful, I will try in earnest to answer them.

    'As for the feelings you mention, they are not evidence. The warm-fuzzies, or burning in the bosom, do not mean something is true or untrue. Feelings are just feelings'

    Respectfully, you are wrong. I've spent an entire childhood and teenage lifetime knowing 'feelings' and the 'warm and fuzzies'. The scriptures say a 'burning in the bosom' but this is something that I've never experienced in the absolute physical sense. What I EXPERIENCE when I feel the spirit is something entirely unexplainable by any psychological or psychiatric knowledge. It is out of body and most definitely supernatural. But I understand what you are saying about appealing to emotion, so I will avoid that usage. But let it be said then that really, you just can't tell me what I feel is just emotion. But we will tend to disagree here that much I am sure of.

    'People have a right to know the full story. The church isn't giving them that full story. How was the Book of Mormon really translated?'

    This actually made me laugh. Not because I think you are wrong, but because I think you are right! So many people know very little about the history of the Church that it scares me. And its not because of a lack of information out there, just a lack of searching and getting informed. I guess the difference comes in that some people believe that they are getting lied to and so leave, such as in your case. But this happens in almost all organisations religious or not. How many Catholics really KNOW their history. I dare say a relative few.

    'I honestly don't think that the church can give out anything that a kind and loving person can learn on their own. My character isn't defined by my religion, or my lack their of.'

    Couldn't agree with you more there about the character. My personal hero is Aung San Suu Kyi whom I adore because of my lineage back to Burma (my mum is burmese). She is a massive influence on many people and is devout Buddhist. I don't think I really ever said anything like what you've suggested, but if I did, sorry. What I believe, and I'm sure you already know this, is that the Church can give the doctrines of salvation to give peace and hope in a better world. Again, this is something you will disagree with I'm sure.

    'Before I sign off, please know that it wasn't my intent to "degrade your personal practices," it was to share with people the honest truth. Something the church wont give them.'

    I disagree with you there. You've degraded my personal practices by putting things on here that are ultimately very private and very real to me. I'm not offended, but I'm just concerned that my friends and family who are not members will see things like this and believe that I am indeed an idiot.

    Doug (I think that's your name), my appeal to my scholarly life was not to suggest or validate my claims to religion, it was in fact to tell Sydney that I am not an lame duck who gets lead about by the nose. I will happily however retract that statement if it will make you happy.

    'I've left out a few to save time, but my point is that any of your arguments could used to defend any ideology.'

    You know you are right, but you can use arguments to suggest that there is no God and that religion is the 'opium of the people' as Marx suggests. In the end, and if Marx was right, doesn't religion hide the 'actual' state of humanity?

    My point is not to limit my beliefs, nor to set up religion or any ideology to by knocked down on its merits. But rather, my point is to say that, the arguments and knowledges of human kind can, if in fact believed, destroy faith in its entirety. I prefer to appeal to a higher power to acknowledge my existence and validate my lifestyle through the supernatural, rather than through the words of humanity.

    Sydney, I hope not to annoy you. I just want to debate things with you. But in the end, I don't think that debate could ever really resolve anything on religion. Bahá’u’lláh of which my mother used to be associated with (and a religion which I have much respect for) suggests that when two people argue about religion, both are wrong.

    In that manner, I hope you are not taking this to mean that I am attacking you in a nonrespectful manner....

    Thanks again and looking forward to further discussion.

    Nick

  1. Sydney Says:

    Hello Nick, good to hear from you again.

    I am sorry that you don’t think the internet is a neutral zone. Why do you feel that way? Is it because you think there is so much “anti” material on the net?

    When I first went to my Mom about the things I learned online about the church, she was very concerned that I was reading these “anti Mormon” websites. Some websites I like, some I don’t. Whatever information I find, I research it on my own. I don’t take anything I read at face value. All things I have learned have been checked through Mormon leadership, members, missionaries, family and friends. I am spreading no lies… only truth. My blog is not anti-Mormon, it’s Pro-truth.

    You might not believe me and other post-Mormons when we say that we understand your descriptions of the feelings of the spirit. We were once there. There is no use debating it, it’s definitely something we will definitely continue to disagree on. However, how can you look past all the scientific evidence, historical records and believe if you know the whole story? Were you not upset when you learned that the church didn’t teach you the complete truth in church/seminary/wherever? The DNA evidence and things mentioned in the book of Mormon that didn’t exist in the Americas at the time are enough for me… There was no steel, no swords.

    When you mentioned that you agreed with me about how many Mormons didn’t understand their own history, you kind of brushed past my point a little. Probably unintentionally.

    When I was a child, I went to church and learned the stories of the book of Mormon as well as the account of the first vision and translation. My teachers read from books given to them by the church. Those lesson books do not contain the full truth. Why isn’t a church that preaches honesty and love not telling the complete story? I feel lied to. You don’t? Why does the church ask members to limit what they read? It must always come directly from the church? Do you see what that should raise a red flag to you?

    I don’t believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet at all. You know that my intent here is to be honest and truthful with people, and not to insult them. If that bothers you I am sorry, but that is how I feel. The temple ceremonies come from Masonry. You do not need the Mormon Church for salvation. There is too much evidence to the contrary.

    Now, about the degrading… you can go anywhere on the net and find out what I put on my blog. It’s easy to find because so many Mormons are realizing it’s bunk and leaving… sharing their stories and trying to save others from going through what we have gone through. You might not understand why I do this now, but maybe someday you will. Maybe you won’t. Either way, we are both very sure that we are right, and not afraid of the consequences.

    I don’t mind debating with you at all Nick. It’s healthy, and maybe we can learn something from each other. There is one thing that won’t happen though, and that is me saying that I was wrong for writing what I did. Hopefully one day you will take a step back and look at things a different way… and it’s okay if you don’t… as long as we all stay respectful to each other.

    Sydney

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Sydney,

    Thanks again for posting a nice and friendly reply to something you disagree with strongly. So let me start with my response.

    'I am sorry that you don’t think the internet is a neutral zone. Why do you feel that way? Is it because you think there is so much “anti” material on the net?'

    This is nothing to do with 'anti' stuff but more to do with my more philosophical or theoretical take on the 'net' right now.Despite the fact that there is supposed to be no restrictions on what flows on the net, we see an amazing trend for money to take control and really 'take over'. But I leave that for another post...and a much bigger rant! (hehe)

    'When I first went to my Mom about the things I learned online about the church, she was very concerned that I was reading these “anti Mormon” websites. Some websites I like, some I don’t.'

    It seems to me that most of your researching has been done with these 'anti-mormon' websites. But can I ask have you ever consolidated the information with that of Mormon scholars and such?

    'You might not believe me and other post-Mormons when we say that we understand your descriptions of the feelings of the spirit. We were once there. There is no use debating it, it’s definitely something we will definitely continue to disagree on'

    I agree with you there so we will leave it at that. All I can say is that some things have 'occurred' which I can't deny and which I dare not deny...and there are somethings I can't talk about, so we should leave it at that.

    'When you mentioned that you agreed with me about how many Mormons didn’t understand their own history, you kind of brushed past my point a little. Probably unintentionally.'

    I apologise for that. It wasn't my intention to do so, just to say that I see alot of adult members of the church who don't read the Book of Mormon let alone study outside the church. You say the church is lying to everyone? In response to that, I'd like to steer clear of the historicism debate because historians have been flawed in the past, as is my own profession, and I don't trust alot of the information you've posted on your website. That doesn't mean I take the history of the church on face value. I've spent a considerable time looking at books written by church historians like Madsen, Nibley, etc. So unless you've actually consulted first hand various manuscripts (which you may have I'm not sure - are you a historian?? That is a serious question btw not an attack) and so forth, I don't want to get into that side of things.

    I guess my argument and your counterargument maybe more existential than anything. I would question that if you believed the church to be incorrect and lying, then what purpose would there be in it? If it were that the President and his Quorum of the Twelve and the Relief Society General Presidency were benefiting in some manner (as in getting paid a considerable sum) then I would see a point. But you and I both know that these people work sometimes till they die. President Hinkley was still working when 97. If he knew that the church wasn't true and it was a big fabrication, why not rest on his laurels and benefit from it?

    Furthermore, what do you believe Joseph did with the whole writing of the Book of Mormon thing? If he did write it, manufacture it, fabricate it - how do you justify the Book itself? Considering that he did (and this is common for people in his time) only have really 2 months of formal education. Seems to me to be a fairly well crafted piece of literary genius if he did fabricate it all. Especially when there is some seriously interesting little things within the pages that relate to hebrew traditions, etc, that he just couldn't have known about. How do you justify that?

    'Now, about the degrading… you can go anywhere on the net and find out what I put on my blog. '

    I'm sorry Sydney, you have to do better than, 'there are others doing it too' to tell me that what you've done is degrading. Thing is, you know how personal those things are and how much Mormons hold them in esteem of the highest quality. I have not one little qualm with you using words to attack the church, not one. But what you've done is displayed something which I wear daily as an outward expression to me and me alone of my inward commitment to my God. What you've done is portray it in a humiliating manner (especially using John Safran) something which does degrade me. Again, I don't mind you using words...but just because I can find those things elsewhere, doesn't make it correct for you to do it. Especially if what you are doing is trying to 'help' your fellow 'mormons' to your cause.

    'I don’t mind debating with you at all Nick. It’s healthy, and maybe we can learn something from each other. There is one thing that won’t happen though, and that is me saying that I was wrong for writing what I did.'

    Agreed Sydney. I like to discuss everything by the way. Politics, lifestyle, culture, etc, etc, I never shy away from public discussion. I think its a quality sorely missed where I live. So if you wanna chat about anything else, cool, I'm in. I'm also cool to debate things with you. But you should know, that my life is as I choose it. I choose to be a LDS member because of the fruits of the spirit which I've felt time and time again (don't worry I won't get into it :))

    In the end, if I was to trust the philosophies and science of man, I would have left all religion a long time ago when I first read Capital (Marx) and the Elementary Forms of Religion (Durkheim). But certain things cannot be explained away in the pages of these fine philosophers and social theorists. And for me, that is the extraordinary feelings I've felt, without searching for them, in the church.

    Nick (sorry I don't have a blog yet...I should get one though huh?)

    PS - I love your pictures, really good.

  1. Sydney Says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. Sydney Says:

    “It seems to me that most of your researching has been done with these 'anti-mormon' websites. But can I ask have you ever consolidated the information with that of Mormon scholars and such?”

    Every single quote I use on my site comes from Church resources. The Journal of Discourses, Diaries, Letters…

    Can I ask you something? Why is it that you believe the church asks its members to not read certain material? The truth should stand up to any criticism, right? If the church is true, why is the church asking its members to stay away from certain websites? Certain books? Shouldn’t the church be asking it’s members to study away and learn the church’s history?

    “All I can say is that some things have 'occurred' which I can't deny and which I dare not deny...and there are somethings I can't talk about, so we should leave it at that.”

    When you say things like “dare not deny” and “there are some things I cannot talk about” it doesn’t somewhat raise a red flag for you?

    In my opinion, God loves us for who we are. He gave us brains to use, curiosity to question, and if we don’t think for ourselves we are doing Him a great injustice. He would never keep things secret or ask us not to talk about things… that is one of the greatest issues I have with the church. Asking it’s members to keep certain things secret, sometimes even men keeping things secret from their own wives! Why is it that the man cannot share his temple name? No answer you could ever give me would make sense.

    “You say the church is lying to everyone? In response to that, I'd like to steer clear of the historicism debate because historians have been flawed in the past, as is my own profession, and I don't trust alot of the information you've posted on your website.”

    Again, I will ask you…

    Why is it that the church doesn’t teach members the whole truth about the history? How many wives did Joseph Smith have? How old were they? How many of them were married to other men when Joseph Smith married them? The church doesn’t give the full story, and only sharing part of the truth is dishonest. If you can prove me wrong, do it.

    “I guess my argument and your counterargument maybe more existential than anything. I would question that if you believed the church to be incorrect and lying, then what purpose would there be in it? If it were that the President and his Quorum of the Twelve and the Relief Society General Presidency were benefiting in some manner (as in getting paid a considerable sum) then I would see a point. But you and I both know that these people work sometimes till they die. President Hinkley was still working when 97. If he knew that the church wasn't true and it was a big fabrication, why not rest on his laurels and benefit from it?”

    There is plenty to gain from it. Money. Power. Keeping up appearances. The church (again, in my opinion) has too many business interests. Money is a big deal, tithing is a big deal. The more people that leave the church, the less money they have. Gordon B. Hinkley died recently, and yes he was still the “prophet” but what work did he do exactly? Attend meetings? Where did he live? How much money was at his disposal? A lot.

    “Furthermore, what do you believe Joseph did with the whole writing of the Book of Mormon thing? If he did write it, manufacture it, fabricate it - how do you justify the Book itself? Considering that he did (and this is common for people in his time) only have really 2 months of formal education. Seems to me to be a fairly well crafted piece of literary genius if he did fabricate it all. Especially when there is some seriously interesting little things within the pages that relate to hebrew traditions, etc, that he just couldn't have known about. How do you justify that?”

    Joseph Smith was a smart guy. He was charming. He got thousands upon thousands of people in his time to listen and believe his story that an angel of God told him where plates were buried. Here is the deal:

    Joseph was 14 when he claims to have had the first vision. He was much, much older when Moroni supposedly gave him access to the plates. It was his wife, Emma, who helped him dig up something and move it multiple times so people couldn’t find it. Joseph had ample time to come up with what would become the Book of Mormon. Again, there is no way this is actual historical record because there are things in the Book of Mormon that did not exist in the Americas at the time. Steel, swords… I mentioned this in the last letter but you kind of ignored it. Scientific evidence that puts people behind bars isn’t good enough to prove this book untrue for many people. That is frustrating. If someone (I would never wish this on anyone) hurt someone else in your family and killed them, and their was DNA evidence you would probably be thrilled that the evidence was concrete enough to put them away forever. But, if that same evidence is used against the book of Mormon, many people in the Mormon faith claim the evidence isn’t good enough. What sense does that make?

    "I'm sorry Sydney, you have to do better than, 'there are others doing it too' to tell me that what you've done is degrading. Thing is, you know how personal those things are and how much Mormons hold them in esteem of the highest quality. I have not one little qualm with you using words to attack the church, not one. But what you've done is displayed something which I wear daily as an outward expression to me and me alone of my inward commitment to my God. What you've done is portray it in a humiliating manner (especially using John Safran) something which does degrade me. Again, I don't mind you using words...but just because I can find those things elsewhere, doesn't make it correct for you to do it. Especially if what you are doing is trying to 'help' your fellow 'mormons' to your cause."

    I am doing nothing but sharing the truth. Why are you so worried about sharing the truth? Why is the church so afraid of sharing the truth? Again, the topic of secrecy comes up. I can almost hear many minds thinking, “Sacred, no Secret” but that isn’t true. If you have such amazing experiences in the temple, God would want you to share them to direct more people his way. What sense does it make to have God ask his people to keep certain things secret from others? None.

    Why is the church so sure that these things should remain “Sacred” if so many people would be touched by these stories and turn to the church?

    "Agreed Sydney. I like to discuss everything by the way. Politics, lifestyle, culture, etc, etc, I never shy away from public discussion. I think its a quality sorely missed where I live. So if you wanna chat about anything else, cool, I'm in. I'm also cool to debate things with you. But you should know, that my life is as I choose it. I choose to be a LDS member because of the fruits of the spirit which I've felt time and time again (don't worry I won't get into it :))"

    You can talk about anything you want. I won’t stop you.

    "And for me, that is the extraordinary feelings I've felt, without searching for them, in the church."

    I understand that is how you feel, but again. In my opinion, the evidence against the church heavily outweighs any feeling you might get.

    "Nick (sorry I don't have a blog yet...I should get one though huh?)

    PS - I love your pictures, really good."

    You should start a blog, it would be interesting to read. I even have tons of links for blog templates if you are interested. Thank you for the kind words about my photos.

    Instead of continuing to reply to this one topic over and over, I am going to offer something up to you. Lets debate one topic at a time… I will write about the things I have problems with, and hear what you have to say. I am very interested. This way, the replies don’t get as long, and we are not re-hashing the same arguments over and over again. What do you think?

    Sydney

  1. Sydney Says:

    Nick,

    Are you done here? I was looking forward to our debate on these topics. There are some questions I would love to have you answer.

    Anyway, hope you come back. I would love you hear what you think about the Book of Abraham article I wrote a couple days ago.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi Sydney,

    Sorry I'm swamped under at the moment because Semester has just started here and I have a billion things to do. I'm also preparing for a public seminar which I am giving soon, which is a nightmare + trying to finish a book chapter which I am writing...crazy stuff, but that is my job I guess.

    So I've not been able to look at your stuff just at the moment. I keep telling myself, I'll take a look tonight, but when I get home the two monsters (2year old and a 6 month old) keep me pretty busy.

    I'll try and respond sometime this week when I get a chance.

    Sorry.

    Nick

  1. Anonymous Says:

    you just don't get it haven't you ever felt the spirit ever you are horrible

  1. Anonymous Says:

    what do you think that we have microchips programed to make us feel like we feel the spirit.Thalia

  1. Sydney Says:

    "you just don't get it haven't you ever felt the spirit ever you are horrible"

    I have a hard time believing someone being as rude and judgmental as you are right now is feeling much of any real spirit.

    I am not horrible.

    You on the other hand are dishing out very personal insults to someone you don't even know.

    If you want to discuss things here, be civil. It is possible. If you can't get your point across in an adult manner you shouldn't post at all. It shows how little you really know about the subject.

  1. Sydney Says:

    "what do you think that we have microchips programed to make us feel like we feel the spirit.Thalia"

    Thank you for leaving your name Thalia. It's nice when people do that.

    No, I don't think you have microchips planted in your brains. What on earth did I say that would make you think I thought that?

    Do you have something you want to discuss?

  1. Marie Says:

    i believe in this church with my whole heart. i am only fourteen. but i know this church is true. there are some things we just cant fully explain. we have to have faith in god. my parents "secret underwear" are actually called garmets. they are sacred and you problbly shouldnt show pictures of them online. that wasnt very nice. the comments you make are rude and sarcastic, they hurt my feelings even though i know they arent true. please take the picture off. and please take this whole website off. your not telling the truth you are telling partial truth with sarcasm, making something spiritual and rightous, sound strange and evil. thanks, Marie

  1. Sydney Says:

    Nice to meet you Marie.

    I understand where you are coming from. I have been in your shoes. I was once 14, and when I was that age I believed the exact same things you believe right now.

    I want you to understand that it isn't my goal to be sarcastic, rude, and I didn't intend to hurt your feelings. Unfortunately, I am telling the truth. I wish I was full of crap and the church was everything it claims to be, but it's not.

    I know what garments are. I know what they stand for, and I know that many people consider them sacred. I get that. You don't need to keep something secret because it's sacred to you. The only reason people do keep it a secret is because the church tells them to. If they symbols on the garments represent something holy, why in the world would it be a secret? Wouldn't you want to share that info with the world and get more people to see where you are coming from?

    I am not going to change my post or take out any of the photos.

    I am also not going to take my website down. As convinced as you are that I am wrong and spreading lies, I am equally convinced that I am correct. I have done the research.

    You mentioned that I am only sharing parts of the truth. What is it that I said to make you think that? Do you realize that the church tells half-truths?

    You are only 14 years old, and I respect you for taking the time to voice your opinion. There is nothing on my website that is false. Nothing. If you believe different, that is okay... but it's my right to voice my opinion as well. The freedom of speech belongs to everyone, right?

    Good luck to you, I mean that. Next time, I would really appreciate it if you gave me examples of what I said that was false, sarcastic, and rude. I don't mean that in a nasty way, I would just like to know what it is that you are talking about.

    Thanks for reading my blog, and good luck.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney (sorry for the lengthy reply)

    Been a whilst but I finally got some time to read over your response to my last post. Can I just start by saying I don't know why people think that they should attack you, but I guess people will be people huh.

    Let me begin by saying that I know you think that my 'spiritual experiences' are nothing more than pure emotion, but they are not. And they weren't invented by me either nor did many of them come at a time when I 'wanted them to'. The reason I can't share with you some of the things I've experienced has nothing to do with some member of the Church telling me so too, so take that out of your register. I don't know why, but there are certain experiences that I have interacted with both aesthetically and cognitively that I just cannot share. I suppose that they are just too personal, and too special...plus I think personally I have a incessant pride issue which could limit my experiences to nothing.

    To your points. Firstly, your answering of how JS came up with the BoM seems entirely irrational. If you honestly believe that a 14 year old boy could come up with a storyline like that and then write it the manner in which he did, then I'm not sure what to think. The BoM to me seems to be the achilles heal of alot of anti (or Pro-Truth as you call it) individuals. Rationally, you couldn't get a 25 year old person (unless brilliant) to write a book in the prose that the BoM is written with full formal education, much less two months worth. You are also confessing by saying this that JS somehow knew of the Hebrew manner of chiasmus and had some intimate knowledge of ancient Hebrew ceremonies as exhibited by King Benjamin's 'retirement' in the BoM.

    There is only two explanations for me, both are irrational in a knowledge sense. The book either comes from God, or some other supernatural phenomenon.

    On a similar trend, you response that former President Hinkley had alot to gain from his continual working (and what 97 year old would fly here there and everywhere to attend meetings is beyond me) still baffles me. You say he had lots of money to wield, but where is your proof? Did President Hinkley have a massive bank balance? Did he drive in limos? Did he set up overseas trust funds for his family? Why wasn't he living like Donald Trump? Again, your argument remains slightly thin.

    Next, I've already told you that I don't think that the question of the church's validity could be questioned by reference to science/social science or other knowledges, but rather existentially.

    However, to illustrate my point, I will touch upon the DNA thing which you so solemnly cling to in parts of your rebuttal of the Church.

    DNA usage in Anthropological research is somewhat a painstakingly slow and has at times been utilised incorrectly. Kolman and Tuross (1999) for instance showed that if the aDNA (ancient DNA) is not seperated meticulously from the contaminated DNA, then incorrect results may be produced. I'm not saying that the use of aDNA is improper, just that aDNA research is a relatively new phenomena and requires much more work.

    That having been said, there are a number of things that you are perhaps not taking into account. Firstly, it has been said for sometime now by Mormon apologetics that the land of America was not necessarily 'uninhabited' when Nephi and his crew arrived. In fact, archaeologist and anthropologist apologetics claim that only a small segment of central america housed the BoM geography. My point is then that DNA can be easily cross contaminated overtime with other races. It's certainly not conclusive evidence at this stage.

    Secondly, the mere fact that contention on issues of science occur day in day out should be enough evidence for us to contest whether arguments of this type could ever be concluded. Even if the Church's apologetics managed to come up with evidence (which they have) of the BoM's validity, it wouldn't take much but a few papers in rebuttal to throw it all into debate. It happens all the time in my discipline, even if there is 100% statistical proof (which itself is debatable).

    My point is this, trying to refute the Church by using science is somewhat pointless in today's climate. Science refutes itself daily.

    Furthermore, it seems to me that you, like other 'pro-truth' groups, use Science selectively. What about the Talpiot tomb found which some scientists and scholars claim held the body of Jesus instead of him being resurrected? What about the fact that no archaeological evidence has ever been found of the migration of thousands of Israelites through Mt Sinai and the wilderness?

    It's all too convenient to utilise Science when it favours you, and then dismiss it later when it doesn't.

    Ok, I've gone on for too long. I'm happy to hear your thoughts on this. In the end though, you can't convince me that the Church is incorrect, because I've experienced things that are not explained by an appeal to the intellect.

    I still don't know why you think displaying John Safran's tale of the garment is 'telling the truth'. He is after all a satirist whose position is to 'make fun' of religion. I really do wish you would take it down.

    Nick

  1. Sydney Says:

    Thank you for the reply Nick.

    I don't see how my theory is irrational. Joseph Smith didn't translate the plates until years after his first vision. He was a grown and married man by the time Emma helped him supposedly dig up these plates. He wasn't 14, he was a grown man.

    Also, you can't claim that just because someone is not formally schooled they can't write well. I know of plenty of people who have no formal education and they are brilliant.

    Again, I would love to discuss the Book of Abraham with you. I wrote about it after our first or second correspondence. The date I added it to my blog was Feb 24th, and here is a link:

    http://windysydney.blogspot.com/2008/02/book-of-abraham.html

    Instead of arguing these issues over and over again (because that is all we are doing) lets discuss the issues topic by topic. I would like to start here.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney,

    I am not entirely sure where to go with this post, my brain is very scattered today (a mixture of 'alternative hedonism' and postmaterialist rheteoric bouncing around in there). Having said that I'll try and reply best I can. Sorry if it gets scatterbrained.

    You still haven't rationally explained anything to me at all regarding the Book of Mormon which is after all the keystone of our faith.

    If you do believe that it hasn't been translated divinely, then you must think that Joseph Smith had an advanced understanding of Hebrew literary and cultural understandings when he wrote it. Much more advanced than his time. You must also believe that as a man without formal education, he somehow managed (and this is where the 14 year old thing comes from) in the space of 10 years not only to learn how to develop a brilliant creative writing mind, but also in his spare time, also managed to learn anthropological facts far beyond his time. Forgive me for being cynical here, but that theory is totally and utterly irrational. Especially for a man living in a farm community with no access to 'advanced' texts.

    But you seem to want to go past this...

    Regarding your post on the Book of Abraham. Again, an example of how you have obviously just gone to a 'post-mormon' website or something of similar vein and grafted in their arguments to your own understanding. Again, you are trusting science and expertise that is contradictory in itself.

    Parker and Bauer seem to disagree with each other let alone both disagree with Smith. Nibley once investigated this with a bunch of different Egyptologists way back in 1968. None agreed that JS had 'interpreted' the symbols correctly, but very few agreed with each other. If you want to read the results of this, I suggest you head to the FARMS website and read the paper for yourself.

    Again my point is made, that the scholarly community is consistent in it's ambivalence towards what is correct, and as such, one has to wonder who is actual correct,or if you can trust them at all. Science continuously refutes and reinvents itself. It's part of how it survives. and to be honest, this is something that I participate in for a living.

    Sydney, I'm not sure how far we'll get in debating period. You seem to have your mind made up pretty well, and the more your do, the more it seems that you have an 'anti' approach (and let's not argue semantics here because the phrase 'pro-truth' has some serious contestations about it on a worldly level). This appears to be exhibited more and more in your latest posts.

    I've gotta run (there is a blank MS Word Screen right now yelling 'when are you going to write that paper?').

    For interests sake, I'm not a Utah Mormon, or a US Mormon for that matter. I live in Australia and have been a member for 10 years. I have a much different background to those you may have associated with in the past. Don't know why I wanted that to be known. I just seem to see Utah Mormons being a different creed to others personality and culturally.

    Nick

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Sydney,

    You say on a few occasions in this thread that you in deed have done your homework by checking your references.

    Will you be so kind as to give me the reference for the following statement.

    "The Mormon Church has, in the past, baptized Jews who died in concentration camps into the Mormon Church, and when family members found this out, sued the Mormon Church... and won."

    Thank you

    /carl

  1. Sydney Says:

    Here are a couple sources Carl...

    http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/ldsagree.html

    Mormons Aim to Stop 'Baptism' of Holocaust Victims

    by Howard Berkes

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4586805

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    Carl, you said, "Will you be so kind as to give me the reference for the following statement."

    Not so fast! Are you saying that you need reliable sources before you'll believe something?

  1. Sydney Says:

    Not so fast! Are you saying that you need reliable sources before you'll believe something?

    Ooooh, good point!!! :)

  1. Sydney Says:

    Here are more links for LDS people baptizing holocaust victims... even though EHL is correct with his assessment.

    http://nowscape.com/mormon/hitler_temple_3.htm
    http://www.pbs.org/mormons/themes/dead.html
    http://nowscape.com/mormon/Donald_Iarussi.htm
    http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/hitlertemplework.htm
    http://mormoninquiry.typepad.com/mormon_inquiry/2005/02/some_mormons_ju.html
    http://www.mrm.org/topics/news/2002

    I have many more, let me know if you need them.

  1. Sydney Says:

    You really didn't need me to give you those sources... all you have to do is a simple google search for crying out loud.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you Sydney for them references. Yes, you are in deed right, I would most likely have found those same sources, probably along with many others, had I gone about a simple google search just as you suggest.

    What I hypothetically most likely wouldnt have found though, is something that backs up the extent of your statemet, i.e. the LDS Church being sued and convicted for the practice of performing vicarious baptisms for people who died during the holocaust. So yes, if you are otherwise informed regards to the matter please feed me more.

    Just to clarify, all Im interested in here is the facts. I.e. to find out where and when the LDS church was sued and more importantly at wich court of law the same church allegedly did loose its case (this is what you imply by your statement, is it not?).

    /carl

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    Carl, good on you for wanting to know the truth. I sincerely hope you'll apply this method across the board to any claims you encounter, especially the ones you already believe in.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I absolutely love all of the anti-mormon "facts" that exist out there. So informative, so helpful, and they way they enrich peoples lives is truely honorable. I hope that all of the anti-mormons and on the fence folks out there understand one thing, anyone can manipulate "facts" actually there is a whole profession out there dedicated to it, it's called politics. So you can stop missrepresenting your facts as truth and quit lying to people about the Mormon church, it's unhealthy for you and simply not true. Just because you didn't have the faith it took to get over the things about the church you didn't or more likely couldn't understand doesn't give you the right post our sacred ordinances online. Nothing you say or do will stop the progress of the church, in fact people like you drive investigators to the missionaries doorsteps every day. So I am asking you to end your blog, effective immediately, or I will do some research on windy sydney and start posting all of your missdeeds and the real reasons you left the church, which for everyone else out there is 99% due to sin, ie drug or alcohol abuse, or sexual missdeeds. So this is your opportunity to start making good choices, I will check this blog in 36 hours if I find it, I will begin revealing who you really are to the world. Yes I am a mormon and yes I am far from perfect and yes I will follow through on this. Leave the sacred alone or I will become a thorn to you. Don't believe me, just ask the guy who made the movie God Makers what his life was like after he was revealed to be a lying fraud like you. You have 36 hours from now. Start erasing.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Dearest Anonymous,

    I do love that you come to my blog and assume that I am of course, wrong. Did you ever stop to think for one minute that you might be wrong? Of course not! You are obviously right and I must be an apostate scum.

    You are the one who doesn't have the facts right buddy. Do the research and prove me wrong.

    Please.

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    I'm glad to see we've now made our way to the gospel of threats.

    And tell me what it says about your god if the "sinners" are the least likely to feel the spirit. Having sex? That's why you don't understand the church. You swear? That's why you don't get it. Is it alcohol? Sorry, our god won't talk to you. BULLSHIT.

    Sounds to me like if the Mormons truly had a god, he's interested in anything but helping us out. The Jesus you supposedly worship hung out with sinners and hated pious assholes like yourself.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    When I was a missionary I met so many missinformed people just like you. I don't assume anything for one, and in fact doubts are healthy when one wishes to seek truth. Problem is you and every other anti out there do nothing more than twist words and phrases to conform to your views. And then have the audacity to come back with excuses like, "oh you can get a warm fuzzy feeling from this or that", to try and manipulate people into thinking that praying for truth is an invalid way to find it. I'm not going to try and convince you and you sure won't convince me and in reality you have literally no influence on anyone, you are a nobody and will likely remain as such, that said the reason I am taking the time to write this is because you offended God and myself by placing those sacred things online. If I were you I wouldn't be waisting my time writing your thoughtless replies, and start erasing the stuff you have on here, the clock is ticking. 29 hours to go.

  1. Sydney Says:

    29 hours to go? What exactly are you going to do? Please. I am not afraid of you, nor should I be.

    I know for fact I haven't lied in any part of this post, and your lack of any proof otherwise is obvious.

    Take your threats and shove 'em where the sun don't shine. :)

    By the way, if you are so proud of your knowledge of the "truth" why won't you use your name? It's really easy to post threats anonymously... why not back them up with your name. Oh... wait... you probably wouldn't want people that you know to hear you talking like this. After all, it isn't very loving and Christ-like, is it?

    Man up. Use your name.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Narrow-mindedness is obviously not a patented characteristic solely for people on the one side of the fence... good on you mr/mrs anonymous for pointing that out.

    Sydney, as for the “facts” of “truth”, wich is part of your widely used rhetorics (as late as in your reply to mr/mrs anonymous regards to his/her temper tantrum), when can I expect them references that we discussed?

    Given the deadline, better hurry up! only 20h to go ;P

    /carl

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Don't all of you anti-mormon dunnces wish that I were making physical threats. But if you had really understood the first post you would know what I am referring to. In history we learn of the Crusades where Christians and Muslims fought eachother for both Jerusalem and it's Holy relics. My mission here is very much a crusade in it's own right, the difference being that instead of bloody sword fights I will simply just expose you for what you are, a fraud. And since your little buddy eight hour lunch decided to chime in they can consider themselves next. You criticize me for remaining anonymous yet don't give your full names either. And yes Jesus did associate with sinners but again what you anti's forget is that he didn't associate with the Saducees and Pharasees which is what you all are. So as far as my name it's Peter but to make my crusade against anti-mormon hypocrisy complete you may refer to me as The Spear. Not only will I poke holes in your "facts" but I will expose every anti-mormon person on your page. All of them will blame you for their fall. I will begin with you Sydney, next will be eight hour lunch, then Landon, then your australian buddy who defiled the sacred garments, then the so called Pastor. And I will continue down the line until my crusade is finished. Even Jesus had his limit with fools defiling the Sacred, remember the part of the Bible where he used a whip to forcible remove people from the Temple? Probably not, well he did and what I am doing is the same I asked you to not defile the Sacred and instead you decided to mock it even further. So part one of my riddle is this: fact, Christopher Columbus wasn't looking for an alternative spice route to India when he landed in the Americas, so then what was he really looking for? If you can answer that you will begin to see what is fact and what is fiction, you work with fiction not fact yet most people accept it because it's an easier pill to swallow, that doesn't make it fact. I am a fair man you now have 11.5 hours. Start erasing.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney,
    You keep telling people to desclose your name. Why don't you do the same. I notice your full name isn't on here. Are you embarrassed? Are you trying to hide? And you do realize that you don't have any facts, right? You don't refer to any sources. I mean, you keep saying you have facts. But, I don't see any. Now, let me guess, you're to tell me to post some facts then. Well, I just don't have the time to put them all on here. And, they are all already out there. You just have to read the right books and do the correct research. So, why don't you do your own work (research)and quit telling everyone to do it for you.

    Casey

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    Actually, I have an IQ of 144, so if that makes me an anti-Mormon dunce, I'll own it. I could just as easily resort to name calling, but I'm not really sure where that gets us.

    I mean after all, even if I were a moron of embarrassingly epic proportions, it doesn't logically follow that the god you worship even exists.

    And that's what this discussion ought to be about. You believe in something and hold it sacred? Fine. Show us first what it is, and then why you believe in it.

  1. James Says:

    Hey Sydney,

    I would like to introduce myself. I am James. I have read through this entire page, found it interesting. I have some questions for you.

    You say that you are presenting truths. Where did you find these 'truths'. Where they all found on anti-mormon websites? I see two problems with relying on this.

    1) you are taking information from a one sided source. Yes they present truths but they are many times partial truths and they present the information in such a way to destroy the church.

    2) we are talking about the internet here. Before you solidify your beliefs based on 'fact' why don't you look up some more reliable sources.

    Here are some things I found on the internet.
    Bonsai Kitten
    Alex Chiu
    They are obviously wrong. I picked sites that are obviously not correct. But for those websites less clear you should probably do some REAL research.

    And you say that scientific evidence is against the church. Have you ever looked up scientific evidence for the church?

    The Book of Mormon
    Archaelogical Evidence
    Book of Mormon Evidences

    Not scientific but still evidences.
    Biblical Evidences

    I especially recommend looking at stela 5 or the 'Tree of Life Stone' in the first link. It is very interesting.


    Oh and would you please remove the picture of the garments. It is offensive to me and you have no reason to have that picture posted.

  1. James Says:

    Hey Sydney,

    I would like to introduce myself. I am James. I have read through this entire page, found it interesting. I have some questions for you.

    You say that you are presenting truths. Where did you find these 'truths'. Where they all found on anti-mormon websites? I see two problems with relying on this.

    1) you are taking information from a one sided source. Yes they present truths but they are many times partial truths and they present the information in such a way to destroy the church.

    2) we are talking about the internet here. Before you solidify your beliefs based on 'fact' why don't you look up some more reliable sources.

    Here are some things I found on the internet.
    Bonsai Kitten
    Alex Chiu
    They are obviously wrong. I picked sites that are obviously not correct. But for those websites less clear you should probably do some REAL research.

    And you say that scientific evidence is against the church. Have you ever looked up scientific evidence for the church?

    The Book of Mormon
    Archaelogical Evidence
    Book of Mormon Evidences

    Not scientific but still evidences.
    Biblical Evidences

    I especially recommend looking at stela 5 or the 'Tree of Life Stone' in the first link. It is very interesting.


    Oh and would you please remove the picture of the garments. It is offensive to me and you have no reason to have that picture posted.

  1. Magdalena Says:

    Threatening someone is not an act of Christianity. It falls outside the lines of freedom of speech. There are particular laws against it on the internet as well.

    This anonymous person who is threatening posters on this blog should be apologizing right about now, before the cosmic 2x4 comes back around to bite him in the butt.

  1. Nicko Says:

    Goodness what happened to this thread???

    I come back to see if Sydney had reposted on what I had written (or Eight Hour Lunch) previously to find a complete schmozzle of comments all over the shop.

    James, I've already suggested to Sydney a number of reasons for taking down the pictures and John Safran's video. That having been said, she has not. Call it freedom of speech, i don't think she's going to change her opinion.

    Anon or 'The Spear'??? I don't know even where to begin with you champ. You obviously have something wrong with you somewhere. For one, you proclaim to come after two individuals in a manner which is completely inappropriate. You cite the crusades, in what scripture or conference report or anything did the crusades ever get referenced as a good thing??? Seriously.

    All I have to say is, that you better start repenting, because what you are suggesting or threatening to do, is more than just legally incorrect. Its maniacal, slanderous and completely against the teachings of contemporary prophets and apostles. Get over yourself, you are not the 'Captain Moroni' of today.

    Finally, James I think we've discussed the rhetoric of evidence to some detail here as you can see above. I've argued in some detail that this cannot be settled with an appeal to scholarly intelligence, as this is ambivalent at best. Better to discuss these things aesthetically, something many do not wish to.

    Sorry Sydney...I just had to get that out there...

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you James. I really liked your comment. And I totally agree with you about Sydney removing the garment picture. It is VERY offensive. I would like it removed too.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, I never knew that Mormons were about two points lower on the crazy scale than Scientologists!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Well,

    I feel bad for you on the other side.

    I think it's pretty sad that you have wasted such time on proving a religion wrong with false facts.

    Maybe you should get a life.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is a great church and i love it with all of my heart and i will die for my church and the things that it stands for and all the good things that it does! This church will be here forever because of the faith that its members have! It is the true church and i know that it is true

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, you are way off the beaten path, too bad you didn't atleast take the time to tell the truth. I love how you tell half truths and all your buddies take them as complete fact. Do something better with your time.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Anonymous (apr 18),

    I have yet to have anyone tell me where my lies are. Please, prove me wrong. What are my lies? Do tell.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Baptism for the Dead. This ceremony really bothers me, and I consider it morally wrong. A Mormon is given the names of people who have passed away, and they are baptized by proxy into the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church has, in the past, baptized Jews who died in concentration camps into the Mormon Church, and when family members found this out, sued the Mormon Church... and won. It's an ego the church has that says "We know what is true and right, and we are going to baptize you into this religion whether you like it or not." Religion is as personal as it can get, and for them to blanket baptize people shows how little respect the Church has for other beliefs. Growing up, my Mom was taught that doing baptisms for the dead was an honor, and now that we are both seeing things differently, we believe differently.

    So do you not believe in any religion, or God for that fact? Your defintion of Baptisms for the dead is completely misconstrued. People still have their free agency, and whether or not they accept anything done in their behalf is their own choice. We force nothing on anybody. Read the Bible, its all there!

  1. Joenelle Says:

    Sydney,

    You grew in the church and yet you never know where you are standing.

    I truly believed to what anonymous said. And I to myself, know that the Church is true. And someday, this blog that you created will be a standing testimony against you.

    Glenn

  1. Sydney Says:

    Glenn,

    With all due respect, I truly know where I stand. I truly "know" things because I have scientific evidence. God gave me a mind, and I am going to use it.

    I don't need people stopping by to "warn" me about my blog and my eternal salvation. It's not only none of your business, it's out of line for any true-believing Mormon who shouldn't judge others. You know that, right? Just checkin.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    thanks for your blog. it helped strengthen my testimony in the church. i unfortunately haven't been able to go to the temple well inside anyways. someday though, good luck and god bless.
    -julie

  1. Sydney Says:

    Julie, you are welcome. Take what you want away from this... even if it brings you closer to the church. It's just how I feel.

    Good luck and God bless to you too.

  1. Clayton Says:

    I understand were you are coming from on many of the points you make, there is just one point that you made early on that I would like to refute in a sense. That is the point that "The temple ceremonies come from Masonry". In fact the Masonry rituals date back to Solomons Temple, and if the LDS Church believes its self to be the true church then those rituals should be similar if not identical.

    sorry i didn't take the time to set up a tag.

    My name is Clayton. I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. The church isn't something to fear or to hid in or from, at least not for me. It is something that I try to use as a tool to learn and grow from.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Clayton,

    I have heard that a million times. I know many Mormons believe it, but I don't agree. It seems painfully obvious to me and others that the temple ceremonies didn't come about until Joseph Smith went into Masonry. His temple ceremonies didn't come from Solomon's temple... they came from masonry.

    Good for you if Mormonism works for you. I mean it.

    It just doesn't make much sense to many people. Thats why I am here talking about these issues.

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    Hi Clayton,

    Can you show me reliable sources that back up your claim that Masonic ritual matches that of the temple of Solomon?

    Even if you're able to do this (and I seriously doubt it), you've still got to prove that Joseph Smith wasn't an impostor. That is to say, how do you know that he wasn't just ripping off the Masons to lead people away from some other "true religion".

    Which brings me to my final point. Your assumption that Mormon temple ceremonies have any value at all rests on the assumption that there is a god. You have done nothing to establish this as fact. Worse, you haven't (and likely can't) even define this god you believe in without contradicting yourself, and until you can, I'm afraid I have no reason to respect your church or anyone else's

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney-
    While looking for a picture of the Logan temple I stumbled upon your site by accident. I believe that everyone is entitled to have their own opinions. However, I find it very interesting that ex-LDS members always find it worthwhile to spend massive amounts of time creating websites,etc. focused on trying to destroy others faith. Just because I don't agree with the Catholics or the Jews, I don't criticize or disrespect what they believe. Whether you believe or not, it seems pretty ridiculous to post pictures of people in their garments on a blog. I don't care what you do with it in the future because I won't be visiting this site again, but for your own sake it might be wise to find something better to do with your time.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Dearest Anonymous,

    I am glad you believe everyone is entitled to our own opinions.

    What you don't seem to understand, is that the LDS Church isn't giving the believing members the whole story... the whole truth.

    You can sit back and tell me how much you "don't care" what I do here, but you obviously do. You posted here, didn't you?

    You might come to know that more and more people are leaving the Mormon church because they are learning what I learned. This website is for them. Who knows, maybe you will be one of those people one day. I certainly never thought I would be doing this...

    Toodles, and good luck.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Why is it nessicary to post these offensive pictures? aren't you ashamed of yourself?

  1. Sydney Says:

    Anonymous,

    Why are you offended by pictures of underwear and handshakes? What is so offensive? Just because you think these things should be hidden doesn't make them offensive.

    It's all about free speech my friend, and no, I am not ashamed of myself. I sleep very, very well at night.

    Voicing my opinion and sharing what I know is what I do here. If you don't like it, you can go elsewhere.

    Toodles.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    you don't deserve polite conversation, Take the damn pictures down.

  1. Sydney Says:

    Anonymous,

    It's you who doesn't deserve polite conversation.

    No, I will not take the photos down. What gives you the right to tell me what to do?

    Free speech, deal.

  1. Joey Says:

    This is such a dumb site, honestly, I do not agree with the mormon religion myself, but I do have mormon friends who I respect and have told me that these things are pure lies....so why downgrade their faith? What have they done to you? Why don't you move on and try to be productive in society, this obviously is a form of hate that is being portrayed from you...dude get on with your life and try to be positive...this obviously is very crude and demeaning to mormons and to people in general. Mormons do more good than bad and those that do bad things are obviously bad people, but it doesn't speak for their religion...as all religions have bad people in them, but it shouldn't be a speaker for their religion as a whole....though I am catholic, I do not want people to think that all catholics are bad because of a few horror stories in the media. I know that people in general are good, and I think that these points should be praised and we should respect all religion. Cheers :) jOeY

  1. Sydney Says:

    Joey,

    If my site was "so dumb" you probably wouldn't have taken the time to respond or leave a comment.

    I am not talking about "bad Mormons" I am talking about the doctrine that I have problems with... the temple being one of those problems.

    You don't understand if you haven't been in the religion, so that is why it might seem "dumb."

    Cheers to you as well...

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This is the first Anti-mormon reading that i have seen.
    It saddens me too see this
    Im 15 years old...Struggleing mormon but some were in me I know the teachings are true.
    You definitly have your own right to your opinion.
    I just dont understand this site the true point of writeing it.
    Are you trying to educate people with false disturbing facts? it seems wrong to me
    But best of luck
    sorry that something happened were you lost your faith.
    The church Is always there for you even if you are not there for it

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    I understand that you are only 15 years old, and that you believe deeply in the religion you are in. I am not trying to shake your faith, I didn't seek you out or ask you to read this. You did that yourself.

    I have no lied, nor have I spread any "false disturbing facts." Please tell me which of my statements are false?

    Good luck to you as well.

  1. Arvidson Says:

    Hi Sydney,

    I have been debating with myself whether or not I should comment, and I have decided to do so. I am a practicing mormon, and I actually find much of this very comical. I was raised in a "technically" LDS home, but we didn't have family home evenings, or go to church regularly, or any of what someone like you would call "indoctrination." My mother who is in her 50s and has been a member all her life only recently read the Book of Mormon for the first time. I had to search out answers for myself.

    Something that you said about "feelings" was striking to me. It sounded like you think that mormons believe that the only time you can have good "confirmations of truth" feelings is when it is associated with the church. We believe all churches have some truth to teach--after all, most religions as you have previously mentioned are based on most of the same principles of love, honesty, service, etc. We are not taught to be in the business of condemning people. The church is a church of common people, and a non-professional clergy--of course it will be easy to prove any point against it when people are not perfect.

    I have a background in science, and I have used good scientific method to search out answers to my burning questions about the temple, polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc. Some of those were easier to find answers to than others. The bottom line for me is that no matter whether Joseph Smith looked into a hat, or sat at a table with plates--I don't believe that he could have written that book, and neither could any of his associates. Recent (within the last decade) central american archeological evidence has confirmed some of the most controversial suggestions in that book (all of which he could have just left out if he was making a fraud), the most notable discovery was pre-columbian chickens found in 2007. Long story short, the "evidences" in favor of the church has been a much larger list than those against. Also the arguments against this church can almost all be made against any other church.

    I'd like to thank you for the publicity. No publicity is bad publicity. You are also helping to fulfill an early church prophesy that Joseph Smith's name would be spoken for good and evil throughout the entire world. And although he was an obscure farmboy from upstate New York with a 2nd grade education, he will live on because of his followers and be far reaching because of his critics like you.

    by the way, your pictures are really very funny--my hubbie and I don't look like that in our garments :0) And the "re-enactment" is very inacurate, you could have found much more accurate footage if you looked a little harder (but I don't think you were going for accuracy, more for shock value).

    Good day to you, and I hope you find everything you are looking for in life...keep up the debate, it does good for everyone inside and outside of the church. We all need some testing once in a while.

    Lacey

  1. Arvidson Says:

    Hi Sydney,

    I have been debating with myself whether or not I should comment, and I have decided to do so. I am a practicing mormon, and I actually find much of this very comical. I was raised in a "technically" LDS home, but we didn't have family home evenings, or go to church regularly, or any of what someone like you would call "indoctrination." My mother who is in her 50s and has been a member all her life only recently read the Book of Mormon for the first time. I had to search out answers for myself.

    Something that you said about "feelings" was striking to me. It sounded like you think that mormons believe that the only time you can have good "confirmations of truth" feelings is when it is associated with the church. We believe all churches have some truth to teach--after all, most religions as you have previously mentioned are based on most of the same principles of love, honesty, service, etc. We are not taught to be in the business of condemning people. The church is a church of common people, and a non-professional clergy--of course it will be easy to prove any point against it when people are not perfect.

    I have a background in science, and I have used good scientific method to search out answers to my burning questions about the temple, polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc. Some of those were easier to find answers to than others. The bottom line for me is that no matter whether Joseph Smith looked into a hat, or sat at a table with plates--I don't believe that he could have written that book, and neither could any of his associates. Recent (within the last decade) central american archeological evidence has confirmed some of the most controversial suggestions in that book (all of which he could have just left out if he was making a fraud), the most notable discovery was pre-columbian chickens found in 2007. Long story short, the "evidences" in favor of the church has been a much larger list than those against. Also the arguments against this church can almost all be made against any other church.

    I'd like to thank you for the publicity. No publicity is bad publicity. You are also helping to fulfill an early church prophesy that Joseph Smith's name would be spoken for good and evil throughout the entire world. And although he was an obscure farmboy from upstate New York with a 2nd grade education, he will live on because of his followers and be far reaching because of his critics like you.

    by the way, your pictures are really very funny--my hubbie and I don't look like that in our garments :0) And the "re-enactment" is very inacurate, you could have found much more accurate footage if you looked a little harder (but I don't think you were going for accuracy, more for shock value).

    Good day to you, and I hope you find everything you are looking for in life...keep up the debate, it does good for everyone inside and outside of the church. We all need some testing once in a while.

    Lacey

  1. Arvidson Says:

    Oh, one more thing. I find it interesting that in this country we consider it torture to flush a copy of the Koran down a toilet in front of a terrorist at Gitmo, but attacks against people's beliefs like this is just free speech. Just a little food for thought. Perhaps evil knows good when it sees it, and does everything to squash it out!

  1. Ty Says:

    sydney,
    my name is tyaan and i am 17, i was baptised into the church when i was 14,so i didnt jump in blind. i just have one question you are sharing the truth of the mormon church, but werent these things that are sacred to me now were they ever sacred to you?

    and im not trying tobe a snotty mormon, i truly want to know.

  1. Andee Says:

    I am beginning to wonder if this is the only article that believing Mormons read!

    I wrote this months and months ago. Catch up, please.

    First, I stand by my assessment of the temple ceremony. Argue if you wish, it's your right to do so... but I have tons of people standing by my version of events, too.

    Secondly, I don't feel bad about posting any of this. At ALL.

    Come on now people... you know it's all silly and garbage, right? Guess not. Look, it's not "sacred" the reason that they want you to keep it secret is to make it seem more important than it really is.

    You can find exact copies of the temple ceremonies, audio, visual, photos... you name it. It's all over the net. My page here is actually a very sanitized version. Sorry if you don't like it, but you don't have to read it either.

    If you guys truly want to have an open dialogue, try reading articles on other subjects as well. Why is everyone always reading this one?

    I guess it must be passed around on an email list or something... it's hilarious.

    Best wishes, and toodles.

  1. Sarah Says:

    This is seriously my new favorite blog! Well done Sydney, your posts are very informative, entertaining, and just downright refreshing.

    In regards to the specific temple post...you mormons out there reading it...I'm pretty sure no one FORCED you to come to this blog and read. So quit your whining about the content and pictures. I don't intentionally visit sites that might offend me only to let the creator know I'm offended and proceed to make threats. Back off already, you really sound ridiculous. I'm trying to not let your comments ruin the reputation of all mormons but you're making it difficult.

    PS I find it very interesting that none of you seem to be able to come up with evidence to prove her statements incorrect. Church websites prove nothing, it is obvious what the church wants you to believe...anything that will keep you paying your tithes.

    May each of you truly find your inner peace, wherever that may be.

    -Sarah (born and raised in the church, attended BYU, married in the temple...and now FREE from all the whimsical nonsense!!!)

  1. Andee Says:

    Wow Sarah, thank you for the compliment!!! You have no idea how refreshing it is to see someone that actually agrees with my point of view on this specific page.

    I am really glad you like the blog, I work hard on updating it every day, and it's gone from a way for me to express my thoughts to a place where I can put things out there and help people.

    Thank you again, comment any time!!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    how ironic, I came upon your website because I googled temple pictures so I could put a picture of the temple on my new post that includes my testimony. I don't even know if you'll read this comment because you have so many, but for what it's worth you are entitled to your opinion, and it looks as though you have devoted your time and energy to the destroying of the lords church, and ironic enough I have devoted my time and energy to the building up of the lord's church. I'm sad to hear of your recent exit.

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    Yeah... the irony.

    It's fairly obvious that this is the only article on my website that you have read. You don't really have any idea what I am about or what my intentions are.

    Good luck,

    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I hope you know how disappointed your Heavenly Father is in you and that you have taken something SO sacred and exposed it to those who aren't worthy of it (yourself included) I pray that the Lord can forgive you in some future day and if not I hope you find the happiness you are searching for without the church. You need to rethink your blog a little bit....you are VERY VERY disappointing and a prime example why SO many people hate the LDS church. Good luck to you in the future eternities. I would hate to be in your shoes....

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    I hope you know how disappointed your Heavenly Father is in you that you feel the need to judge others. Way to be Christ-like.

    You have no idea how much the Mormon church has lied to you, if you don't like the site, don't come back.

    Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    this sight is nothing more than an outlet for hatred and bigotry. If great is the joy of he who brings a single soul to Christ, then what kind of misery waits for those who attempt to poison the minds of our bretheren in Christ?

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints kept the priesthood away from blacks until 1979. They taught that african americans and others with dark skin were here to represent evil on the earth.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is actively trying to take rights from those in the gay community.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints treats women as if they are second class citizens.

    How, exactly, am *I* the bigot? How am I showing hatred? The only thing I am doing is actually talking about these issues, whereas you would probably ignore them and hope they disappear.

    I don't hate you for being in the church, you probably have no idea that they are keeping stuff from you as a member. One day, you might realize it.

    Good luck,
    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    That comment about blacks is completly false, No where in the church is it taught that dark skin represents evil. Even in the times of the ancient apostles there was reluctance when they were told to preach to every nation, But when the priesthood was given to every worthy male in 1979, it was accepted with open arms. And if you wish to attack the book of Mormon there are plenty of the same situations described in the bible as well.
    As for the gay rights, it is not up to the will men to redefine the term "Marriage" which was invented by God for the purpose of unionizing a man and a woman. Ephesians chapter 5; "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the Church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
    Husbands love your wives, Even as Christ also loved the Church, and Gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
    That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.
    For this cause should a man leave his father and mother and shal be joined unto his wife and they two shall be one flesh."

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous, here are some examples of what I am talking about...

    President Brigham Young:

    "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African Race? If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses 10:110)

    President Joseph Fielding Smith:

    "There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less." (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)

    Apostle Bruce R. McConkie:

    "Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them... Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned…" (Mormon Doctrine, p. 343)

    Apostle Mark E. Petersen:

    "God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be in sin. Those who willfully sin with their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual death…

    "The reason that one would lose his blessings by marrying a Negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. "No person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood" (Brigham Young). It does not matter if they are one-sixth Negro or one-hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the Priesthood marries a Negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the Priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a "Nation of Priesthood holders…

    "The discussion on civil rights, especially over the last 20 years, has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinking of some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed their political affiliations to color their thinking to some extent, and then, of course, they have been persuaded by some of the arguments that have been put forth…We who teach in the Church certainly must have our feet on the ground and not to be led astray by the philosophies of men on this subject…

    "I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, 'First we pity, then endure, then embrace'…

    "Now let's talk about segregation again for a few moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? When the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation…

    "When he told Enoch not preach the gospel to the descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation. When He cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation…

    "Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated them…

    "The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negro we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that he placed a dark skin upon them as a curse -- as a punishment and as a sign to all others. He forbade intermarriage with them under threat of extension of the curse. And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron curtain there…

    "Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest 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. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, 'what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.' Only here we have the reverse of the thing - what God hath separated, let not man bring together again.

    "Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood…This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in their lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa--if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory." (Apostle Mark E. Peterson, Race Problems - As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954)

    Get back to me.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel1
    by Marcus H. Martins

    To begin, I think it's no surprise to any of us that few human traits throughout history have been used more persistently as a justification for so much hatred, brutality, inhumanity, and pain, than race.

    Since its beginnings in the 1830s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has also been affected by the issue of race. The Church is managed largely by a lay clergy--in many cases around the world a clergy composed of relatively recent converts--because of that the Church of Jesus Christ is not entirely immune to the predicaments found in the societies in which the members of the Church live.

    I am a Black man of mixed African and European ancestry, and I have been a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1972. I was the first member of my race to serve a full-time mission after the revelation2 that extended the priesthood to worthy men with Black African ancestry in 1978. I was also among the first to be ordained a high priest in 1981 and quite possibly--at least outside of Africa--I may have been among the first to be ordained a bishop in 1987. Since 1994 I have been the first of my race (or mixed race, whatever) to work as a religion professor in the Church's universities: Brigham Young University; then Rick's College; BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii.

    As a researcher I may have read everything official or semi-official statement available to the public about the priesthood ban. Unfortunately, truth must be told, after reading such documents any reasonable person will agree that Latter-day Saints with some measure of Black African ancestry have carried a heavy burden in addition to whatever they may have had to deal in society. Since I joined the Church in 1972 terms such as: cursed; less valiant; fence-sitter; Cain's lineage; and others too impolite to be repeated, have been used from time to time by fellow Latter-day Saints to refer to me or those who share my racial background. That's part of the legacy, if you will, or I would call it more of a burden that members of the Church with Black African ancestry have had to deal with and notice I'm from Brazil--I'm talking about my experiences in Brazil not just in the United States in the last 16 years.

    Back in 1995 President Gordon B. Hinckley stated to CBS reporter Mike Wallace that such things are "behind us." One cannot help but wonder how far behind have Latter-day Saints as a people put this shameful tradition? Could it be that some in our midst have been carrying these ideas on their backs, instead of truly leaving them "behind"? As for me, I am sure that the Board of Trustees of Brigham Young University--which includes members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve--would not have approved my appointment as chair of the department of religious education at Brigham Young University-Hawaii if they believed that I was cursed, less valiant or whatever.

    I decided a number of years ago to leave these matters to the judgment of Him who knows all things. There is enough war, needless contention, and tragic destruction in this world. I certainly don't want to add to any of those. Therefore, I have focused my attention on teaching the gospel of the Prince of Peace, the Savior Jesus Christ, according to the dictates of our conscience, and bring people to faith, repentance, pure Christ-like love, and obedience to the commandments of God--the only way to peace and happiness in this life.

    Still, every year I receive a number of e-mails and phone calls from people around the world asking me questions--most of the time politely--about race and the priesthood ban. A young African American sister once asked me whether it was "abnormal" to feel annoyed by the priesthood ban. I told her that all human beings have feelings, and we cannot fully stifle this important part of our humanity, which is race. My only suggestion--and I have done this myself--is to not allow this issue to importune our children and grandchildren. Whether we like it or not, the priesthood ban is an integral part of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in this dispensation. We can't hide it. We can't whitewash it. There's nothing to do--it's part of the history. But just like the Mountain Meadows massacre and other unfortunate episodes, the ban may be remembered as an undeniable fact in history--but never as a significant factor to the present.

    Therefore, for the benefit of those who never contacted me, I will share a few of my own insights on the priesthood ban based on my current understanding of the scriptures and doctrines of the Church.

    In my mind the priesthood ban was never part of the everlasting gospel, and I have found peace in the idea that the Lord allowed the ban to remain in his Church in order to fulfill his inscrutable purposes whatever they are. That belief leads me to conclude that the ban never jeopardized my eternal salvation. There were a few significant privileges of membership in the Church that I could not enjoy before June of 1978; a few very significant things, but not very many. I was able to receive the ordinance of baptism, I received the Holy Ghost, I could pay my tithing, I could read the scriptures, I could pray, I could partake of the sacrament, I could hold many callings as my parents and I did all those years between 1972-78, and also keep the commandments of the Lord and be blessed for doing so. None of these privileges of membership was denied me. I simply could not officiate in priesthood ordinances like my peers, nor enter a temple and receive my own endowment, nor be sealed to my parents, but other than that all other privileges of membership were available to me.

    Actually, I would argue that the ban afforded me and other Black Latter-day Saints an still ongoing opportunity to display the depth of our commitment to the Lord and his kingdom in a specific way that our fellow Latter-day Saints of other races will never be able to experience.

    Let me illustrate what I mean by the expression "ongoing opportunity." During the three years it took me to complete my Ph.D. at Brigham Young University, I was a part-time lecturer for both the Sociology and the Church History & Doctrine Departments. I remember that every semester at least one African American student would come to my office with a major question because of he or she would have heard somebody saying that since they were from the "cursed lineage" they would not enter the celestial kingdom. Often I would respond half-jokingly that this was a very well known false doctrine because it could not be found in the scriptures and had never been accepted officially by the Church. And then I would ask those students: Why were you baptized? What do we call baptism? Invariably they would respond that baptism is the gate to the celestial kingdom, to which I would reply, if baptism is the gate to the celestial kingdom how come after living faithfully your whole life you would not be allowed to go there? And those students would see that that idea--that Blacks would not enter the celestial kingdom--was inconsistent with the true doctrines of the restored gospel.

    Although they had been baptized long after the priesthood ban had disappeared, these young people still had to exercise the same faith as the early (i.e. pre-1978) Black converts in order to remain active in the Church. That's what I meant by an ongoing opportunity to display the depth of one's commitment to the restored gospel.

    In my mind, the priesthood ban and its associated rationales were never part of the restored gospel. I would argue that they constituted educated responses to the social environment in which the Church existed in the late 19th and most of the 20th century. Let me try to expand this insight by resorting to a typology of laws that I conceived a few years ago.

    A Typology of Laws
    While attempting to categorize different laws we are subject to, I envisioned different "levels" which would begin with the eternal the law of the celestial kingdom, and then after that the law of the kingdom of God on the earth. The next level would come from an expression used by Lord himself in the Doctrine & Covenants, moral agency. Growing out of our moral agency we have several mortal laws and customs, including cultural traits and social norms.

    Of course this diagram, this model if you will, would be incomplete if we did not account for the opposite, that is, evil. So I added evil, outside of the diagram, meaning something that does not come from God. And for the lack of a better term I called it wicked laws and customs.

    We begin with the law of the Celestial Kingdom. Here we find the so-called "laws of nature." Elder James E. Talmage proposed that the Holy Ghost, as the third member of the Godhead, controls the forces of nature--gravity, sound, heat, electricity, etc.3 We may assume that electromagnetism and perhaps even the weak and strong nuclear forces might also be controlled by the Holy Ghost.

    Therefore, I call "laws of nature" those laws that govern the creation or organization of worlds and the maintenance of these planets, solar systems, and galaxies and so on. At that level I also envision the Law of Consecration, which is the law of the celestial kingdom as the Lord stated in a revelation contained in section 78 of the Doctrine & Covenants. Next we find the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, as contained in sections 131 and 132 of the Doctrine & Covenants. These are laws that people everywhere, regardless of religious affiliation, aspire to live, even if their religious denominations do not officially subscribe to such beliefs. Some may call it instinct. Call it whatever it is, these eternal laws are inescapable, overwhelming, and deeply ingrained in us.

    Many devout men and women around the world respond to this innate desire to consecrate themselves to the glory of God by dedicating their lives to religious or humanitarian service. Some have chosen to become preachers and evangelists, while others have focused on different roles in assisting the poor and needy. Among those without the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ we find some who practice celibacy and other forms of physical self-denial as a means to demonstrate the depth of their commitment. Even without current revelations coming through living prophets to guide them, these individuals try to do the best they can, and they will be rewarded by their good works.

    Today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we still have the law of consecration, in the sense that we give of our time and talents, but we don't have the stewardship portion and the United Order, which was the organizational structure that managed the law of consecration. The only remnants of the United Order that we have among us today are the elements of the welfare system of the Church which provides temporary assistance to the poor and needy.

    The next component of the law of the celestial kingdom is eternal marriage. From the time we were little children we yearn for the type of close association provided by family life. Little girls, for example, play "house," and "mother" with their dolls. Everyone --I have faith in and a testimony of this--will have at some point a fair opportunity to find a good person who will be pleasing to him or her, someone whom that person will love with all of his or her heart, and who believe it or not will in return love that individual with all his or her heart as well. Many of them will have a chance to go to the House of the Lord still in this life and enter into an eternal covenant, while others who leave this life without this blessing will no doubt be an opportunity in the future.

    These laws I just mentioned--the laws of nature, consecration, and marriage, constitute the category that I called the law of the celestial kingdom.

    Next we arrive at what I called the law of the kingdom of God on the earth. And this is where we would find the law of obedience, the law of sacrifice and associated with sacrifice we have repentance because in order to repent we need to sacrifice something--some appetite, some passion, some pleasure, in order to conform ourselves to the laws of God that we accepted and covenanted to obey.

    In this level we would find baptism, prayer, chastity, tithing and offerings, the law of the Sabbath, and the Word of Wisdom.

    Next we arrive at moral agency. This characteristic, if you will, is another universal human trait. By nature--regardless of nationality, culture, religion, or philosophy of life--every human being has a natural disposition to respect and revere life, liberty, limb, property and virtue. Everybody has that naturally, although some may fight that influence until they no longer feel its effects.

    Then, growing out of that moral agency we would have then what I call moral laws and customs; and this is where we would find our political, economic, legal, and social systems. These are human developments made in response to circumstances around us under the influence of the moral agency that the Lord gave us.

    In this level we would include constitutions of nations, contracts, associations and civil marriages. We have eternal marriage in the law of the celestial kingdom, and here under mortal laws we have civil marriages for time only, or "'til death do you part".

    In this level of the diagram we would also find social and cultural norms, or what is considered right and wrong, appropriate or inappropriate, in specific social contexts, and in social interactions.

    As I mentioned earlier, I also had to include wicked laws and wicked customs in this typology. Here we would find unrighteous dominion in all its forms--including tyranny and any form of oppression, and also bondage and slavery. We should realize that there are many types of bondage. Bondage is not limited only to slavery itself, but there are also those who are in bondage to chemical dependency due to substance abuse, including drugs, perhaps even food. We also find people in financial bondage because of excessive debt.

    Enjoying the Gospel Despite the Priesthood Ban
    Considering our lack of additional information on the origins of the priesthood ban, I have used my typology to categorize the ban as a mortal law, or in other words, a rule or regulation established as an educated response to the social environment in which the Church existed in the late 19th and most of the 20th century. This would have been what those Church leaders of 150-or-so years ago felt was the best approach at the time, and they used the keys of the priesthood in their possession to enforce it. And because of his inscrutable purposes, the Lord remained silent about the issue until June 1, 1978. This categorization and hypothesis will be sufficient to me personally until evidence is presented of the existence of a revelation dated in the 19th century establishing the ban.

    The main consequence of seeing the ban as a mortal law, and not part of the everlasting gospel is that in the things that matter most I was not losing anything. I could enjoy every blessing of the restored gospel--with the noted exception of the temple ordinances and officiating in priesthood ordinances. But I could enjoy everything else. I could have a testimony through the power of the Holy Ghost, and indeed I received many testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel and of the message of the restoration. Some individuals might claim that they were not so fortunate as I was, but for such cases, let me explain something about testimonies. In a revelation the Lord said something interesting about spiritual gifts. "To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world. To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful."4

    To some it is given to know; to others it is given to believe on the testimonies of those who know. But those who just believe but did not feel or see anything will also have eternal life. This is what I have called "the Nephi-Sam Continuum." I created at BYU-Hawaii a course on Church organization and leadership in which I venture to prepare future members of Relief Society presidencies, Primary and Women's presidencies, future members of Elders' Quorums presidencies, Bishoprics, Stake Presidents and so on--a very lofty goal. Actually one of my former students has already served as a Bishop after that. And so, I tell my students, look some people among us are like Nephi and others are like Sam and so I term this "the Nephi-Sam Continuum." In the beginning of the narrative of the Book of Mormon we find Nephi enjoying powerful spiritual manifestations and visions of the future and so on, while his older brother Sam apparently does not experience any of these miraculous events. He was not having the visions of eternity opened to him, but Nephi tells us: "I told all these things to my brother Sam and he believed me."5 And leaving his last blessing, Lehi blessed Sam and his posterity and said that they were also going to be blessed.6

    There are those among us who have very powerful spiritual experiences and come to the pulpit in testimony meetings already in tears. I believe they are really feeling something strong. The really important question for those among us who may not as yet have been blessed with such powerful manifestations is this: "Am I faithful, obedient, loyal to God?" Those among us who might claim to never have felt these miraculous spiritual manifestations don't need to worry.

    So, until 1978 there I was, without the priesthood but having the power of the Holy Ghost and the promise of eternal life. And the question is, wasn't that enough already? Sure, it would have been wonderful to have enjoyed every available blessing prior to 1978, but we had solemn promises that one day we would enjoy every available blessing. That's why I ask the question, "Wasn't that enough?" Nobody lost anything, no person with Black African ancestry lost anything, by becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints prior to 1978 without being able to hold the priesthood. A person could enjoy most of the blessings of membership in the Church. But here we are, and the good news is that that's past, and today all of us can enjoy those blessings. So that brings us the next question: "Where do we stand today?"

    A Global Perspective on the 1978 Revelation
    Reflecting on the long-term consequences of the revelation on the priesthood, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated that it created the conditions for the fulfillment of the scripture found in Doctrine & Covenants 1:20, which states: "... that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world."7

    In the known history of the dispensations of the gospel, this revelation from 1978--until we know more about past dispensations including in other places of the world that we may know nothing about--until we know more, this revelation stands next in importance with the revelation that extended the preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles in the Meridian of Times. As the words spoken by President Hinckley suggest, the 1978 revelation represented an important step in the restoration of the fulness of the priesthood. The honors and privileges besought by ancient pharaohs and emperors are now available to all those who choose to come unto Christ. This has opened the way for men and women on the entire planet to become one day priests and kings to the Most High8 by obeying the laws and ordinances of the restored gospel.

    We just saw the end of the 20th century. The scriptures reveal that one thousand of our years is like one day for the Lord, so I don't suppose he would care that much about our calendar and changes of years, centuries, and so on. "... all these are one year with God, but not with man."9 But for us these things are important. We just saw the 20th century come to a close, and it has been a phenomenal century. We saw the best and the worst in humanity. Previously unimaginable heights and depths, world wars, violence and destruction beyond comprehension, horrors that we would not see even in our worst nightmares did in fact take place in many parts of the world. But when we consider also the achievements, the developments, the triumphs of the human spirit, and despite terrorism, drug trafficking, despite everything--when we see what looks like the beginning of a global renaissance, unprecedented, far-reaching, we have to exclaim, "What a wonderful time to be alive!"

    Therefore, what befalls on us now is to perpetuate whatever is good, and improve it if possible. Teach the people the lessons from the past without reliving or reopening old wounds. That is what I have been trying to do.

    I shared the personal perspective that I did not lose anything of eternal significance prior to 1978. The priesthood is the Lord's. The Church is the Lord's. He allows his priesthood to be bestowed upon whoever he wants. He may take away the priesthood whenever he wants. It's his church he can do whatever he wants, as far as I am concerned.

    This is a time for activity, not for activism. I consider myself and I hope to be worthy of the title of being a humble follower of Jesus Christ, and the honor of being a minister of his gospel. All I want is to serve in his kingdom--to teach, to testify. And that is what I've been doing most of my life as a member of this Church. Because of where my wife and I come from, we have had many opportunities to serve in many capacities in the Church. We don't aspire to positions. We only aspire to be saved in the presence of the Father with our family and loved ones. But the Lord found me at least sufficiently worthy to receive this priesthood, and he granted my wife and me the blessing of being sealed in the house of the Lord for time and all eternity.

    There is a lot of violence and war in this world. All over the world there are those who seem unable to let go of the hatreds and prejudices of the past, and others who cannot stop reliving the pains of the past. My response to both groups today is still the same I have been giving for years.

    For those who may still be unwilling or unprepared to leave the past behind, I only suggest that while they feel so they follow the Apostle Paul's admonition to be " ... an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."10 People can over time prove through works--which will have a more powerful and permanent effect than any lingering prejudice--that they are indeed choice spirits kept in reserve for this era to testify to the world through deeds that "God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him."11

    Looking Forward with Faith
    The first temple in West Africa was dedicated in Accra, Ghana, in January of 2004. The Aba Nigeria Temple followed in August of 2005. There is a great significance in having these temples operating in our days. Their presence in Equatorial Africa seem to expand the meaning and applicability of the beautiful prophecy included in a solemn proclamation to the world written by then-Elder Wilford Woodruff and endorsed by the Twelve Apostles in 1845:

    "The despised and degraded son of the forest, who has wandered in dejection and sorrow, and suffered reproach, shall then drop his disguise and stand forth in manly dignity, and exclaim to the Gentiles who have envied and sold him--'I am Joseph; does my father yet live?' Or, in other words, I am a descendant of that Joseph who was sold into Egypt. You have hated me, and sold me, and thought I was dead; but lo! I live and am heir to the inheritance, titles, honors, priesthood, scepter, crown, throne, and eternal life and dignity of my fathers, who live for evermore.

    "He shall then be ordained, washed, anointed with holy oil, and arrayed in fine linen, even in the glorious and beautiful garments and royal robes of the high priesthood, which is after the order of the Son of God; and shall enter into the Holy of Holies, there to be crowned with authority and power which shall never end.

    "The spirit of the Lord shall then descend upon him like the dew upon the mountains of Hermon, and like refreshing showers of rain upon the flowers of Paradise. His heart shall expand with knowledge, wide as eternity, and his mind shall comprehend the vast creations of his God, and his eternal purpose of redemption, glory, and exaltation, which was devised in heaven before the worlds were organized; but made manifest in these last days, for the fullness of the Gentiles, and for the exaltation of Israel. He shall also behold his Redeemer, and be filled with His presence, while the cloud of His glory shall be seen in His temple."12

    For many years I had a somber thought in my mind and I'm going to share something very personal with you, something I never disclosed in public before. I have the thought, the somber thought, is that my existence and all the blessings and privileges I enjoy today were the result of some of my ancestors being brought from somewhere in Africa as slaves to a life of horrible suffering and abuse by the hands of others of my ancestors. But then one day I remembered that our father Joseph was also sold as a slave.

    My recent ancestors were no different than Joseph. Joseph also suffered horribly when he was sold to the Midianites and later to the Egyptians. My father Joseph knows what it means to be a slave. But because of the blessings of God, and because of his faithfulness, the Lord placed him as the second in command in Egypt.

    I don't have any such expectations, of course, since I'm not running for political office or anything. But if I am faithful, I'll have those thrones, principalities, dominions and exaltations promised to my wife and me when we were sealed in the temple almost three decades ago. If my children and all of us do our part and live faithfully we will have those blessings as well. And together we will be able to stand and ask, "I am Joseph, does my father yet live?" And then we will claim all our blessings, all the honors, all the prerogatives and privileges of the holy priesthood in the kingdom of heaven. Blessings we can't fully understand at this time, but enough for all of us and billions and billions of our brothers and sisters.

    I don't know if my words will make a whole lot of sense to some; I wish I had far more eloquence. But I can tell you this much, that I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church on the face of the earth, that it is led by living prophets, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. There are many things we don't understand, and some may be hard to bear, but this is the place.

    There are many good churches in the world, many great philosophies that provide varying measures of intellectual or spiritual satisfaction to billions of people. But in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have the power of the priesthood, the oracles of the Lord, his living prophets, the ordinances that can prepare us to once again enter the presence of God, clothed in immortality and eternal life to live forever with our fathers Adam and Abraham and Joseph. I testify that these things are true and that this is part of the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Questions and Answers
    Q: Are you a son of Elder Helvécio Martins, if so would you recount President Kimball's promise to him repeated by President Faust.

    Martins: Yes, I am the son of Helvécio Martins. The "H" stands for Helvécio, I am Marcus Helvécio Tourinho de Assis Martins but even in Brazil it's too long a name so I go with Marcus H. Martins. My father was a great man. One of the greatest men I've known. He passed away in May of last year. Days before I was going to visit him in Brazil we had a double whammy in our family. My mother-in-law passed away when we were heading to Brazil for my in-laws Golden Anniversary--their 50th wedding anniversary and she passed away six days before that. And when we go there, and were visiting with my father-in-law, three days later my father passed away.

    The promise that is being asked here, the first encounter my father had with President Kimball was in 1973. I don't know if his autobiography is still in print--you have in greater detail in his autobiography--but Pres. Kimball told him that the keyword for him was faithfulness. That if he would remain faithful he would receive all the blessings of the gospel someday; this was 1973. That same promise was repeated by Pres. Kimball himself in 1977 at the time of the laying of the cornerstone of the Sao Paulo temple. In those days we laid the cornerstone about one year before the dedication of the temple and Pres. Kimball visited with my father. It was kind of an interesting situation how it happened and my father gives details, a really neat experience, and Pres. Kimball asked do you remember what I told you years ago? My father said, yes President I remember. Of course in 1973 when they met Pres. Kimball was the President of the Quorum of the Twelve. It was just a few months before Pres. Harold B. Lee passed away. So the second encounter in 1977 Pres. Kimball was the President of the Church then.

    Q: Do you think the Church should admit the ban was racist and apologize so we can move on?

    Martins: I gave an interview to KSL in '90-something and I told at the time and I still feel that nobody needs to apologize for anything. You see, the Church as an institution is governed by revelation. A revelation was received on the priesthood in 1978. It was not received earlier. We have, and I saw the book out there, "David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism" by Gregory A. Prince and Wm Robert Wright. Take Pres. David O. McKay for example who personally, at least the data that we have, shows that he personally was inclined to get rid of the ban but as a prophet he must inquire of the Lord and the answer was: "Not now."

    We have some evidence that Pres. Harold B. Lee himself at one point as the President of the Church he also considered the issue and also the answer to him was, "Not now."

    So no, I don't think there should be any apology. Now the problem with, you see, I don't have a problem with the ban. If the Lord were to tell Pres. Hinckley take the priesthood away from Blacks or from Asians or whatever I would not have a problem. For one thing I wouldn't have to go home teaching every month! (Laughter) I love home teaching! My father spoke about home teaching in General Conference.

    The pseudo-explanations for the ban were human attempts to try to explain the ban and I think they were way off mark. Now some among us, even today, harbor racist feelings. You see conversion is not really destination, it's a process and we can be converted to a lot of things in varying degrees. So to be converted to the notion that we are all one worldwide family--that we are true literal brothers and sisters--conversion to that may take a longer time with some people than with others.

    And I'm not here to judge anyone. So should the Church admit that the ban was racist? I don't think the ban was racist but unfortunately it provided a pretty good cover to whoever harbored racist feelings to them continue to say well I kind of have a religious justification for that. Too bad, it happened. As I said it's a fact in history.

    And no, I don't think anybody should apologize. Yes I would love to hear Brigham Young's explanations, and John Taylor's explanations but they are not available for comment right now. (Laughter) I mean I'm in no hurry to go to the spirit world and have a nice old chat with them; so for me, I'm just moving on and this is past--it's history--and it doesn't hurt me at all.

    Q: Were Black members able to do baptisms for the dead before June 1978?

    Martins: Theoretically yes. But I don't think if I had gone to any my bishops or stake presidents at the time I don't think any of them in Brazil would have signed a temple recommend for me to do baptisms. First time I came to the United States was in 1976 and I remember being outside of the Los Angeles Temple and the Salt Lake Temple and I had no clue that people who were not endowed even could go do baptisms for the dead so it was never a questions only many years later looking at a number of sources I realized theoretically it would have been possible but a lot of it I think was a matter of local interpretation by local ecclesiastical leaders and I don't know how many of them would be in the mood.

    And then, you know, I've been a temple officiator and as I travel around the world I see that there are some administrative details that vary from one temple to another and so in those days, yes, a Black person with a temple recommend might even be admitted to one temple and then travel across state lines and not be admitted to another temple because the local presidency would say, well we don't think this is kosher.

    At least there was a possibility. I don't know of any cases but what I remember from the Church--we would be talking about the mid-1970s--is that we didn't have the facilities for communication like we have today and so a lot of things were left to the local interpretation. It doesn't quite answer the question but that's what I would say about it.

    Thank you very much.

    Notes
    1 Portions of this essay were presented at a LDSSA fireside at Stanford University on January 18, 2004.

    2 Brother Elijah Able, a Seventy, was the first member with Black African ancestry to serve full-time missions to the Church in the 19th century.

    3 Articles of Faith, pp.160-161.

    4 Doctrine and Covenants 46:13-14

    5 1 Nephi 2:17

    6 2 Nephi 4:11

    7 "Priesthood Restoration," Ensign, October 1988, p.69.

    8 Revelation 1:6; 5:10

    9 Doctrine and Covenants 88:44

    10 1 Timothy 4:12

    11 Acts 10:34-35

    12 Proclamation of the Twelve Apostles to the World, April 6, 1845 in James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, 1:260.





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  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    You told me that the church never taught that blacks were not equal. They did.

    Your article from FAIR doesn't prove anything except that they backpeddled and gave blacks the priesthood because they had to or they would lose their tax status.

    Open your eyes.

    You believe everything they tell you, don't you?

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I think I made my point, Check and Mate. Good day.

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    You haven't made any point. Check mate? Um... no. You must have misread my reply.

    The only thing you did was supply a copy and pasted page from FAIR. These people do nothing but sick back and make excuses for the things the past prophets did and said.

    Regardless of what you, or any of these apologists say, an apology is deserved and people are waiting for it.

    There is no excuse for a prophet of God saying these things, and the fact that you can sit back and make excuses just proves that you will do or think anything to make it "true." It simply isn't.

    If it makes you feel any better, you have a good day too!

  1. stewbacca Says:

    So, it is true that once you have abandoned your beliefs in pursuit of sin you cannot leave the Church nor its members alone. The real question becomes then what is your sin that you are not willing to give up?

  1. Andee Says:

    stewbacca,

    I killed a man just to watch him die... then to cover up my crime I assumed a new identity as a young woman in search of her soul. Then, as luck would have it, Satan himself came to me and told me I could have all the money and power in the world if I gave him my soul. I took him up on the offer right away.

    Since then, I have been eating small children, stealing the life savings from senior citizens, and laughing like maniac.

    Oh, lets not forget the sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Lots of drugs, too. Heroin, X... you name it. I would tell you more, but I am late for a drive by shooting and then we are knocking off a gas station. I get to hold the GUN!

  1. stewbacca Says:

    That was truly a terrible attempt at an evasion. I doubt that you have ever held a gun much less fired one. I would bet that you spend your time thinking about how much you have been wronged and by whom. Poor little girl had it all but couldn't deal with the stress of "perfection". You would make the deal with the devil for just a little more of whatever it is that you "need". I will not debate the truth with you nor anyone of your kind because that is an exercise in futility.
    However, I wonder something. How do you excuse to yourself the breaking of promises. A promise is a promise no matter to whom you made it. You made promises and now you would go back on them and say it is ok because you never believed. That is ludicrous. I could make all sorts of promises and then just say I don't believe. Say on a car loan for example. Oh, look I want that car. Sure, I'll sign the paperwork. Uh, oh, I don't believe in car payments so I don't have to make any.
    And finally, be assured, I have seen bad and you ain't it.

  1. Andee Says:

    Stewbacca,

    It's called sarcasm, it was a joke... not evasion.

    What do you want me to tell you? I drink Diet Coke and coffee? I don't sin! Who the hell does anyone think they are asking someone that question? It's invasive and insulting to say the least.

    What *you* are trying to do is evasion. You are trying to take the focus off the issues I have with the church, which are valid by the way, and on me. I haven't done anything to warrant that kind of thinking. You are out of bounds and out of line.

    You are trying so hard to hurt my feelings or make me upset that I find it comical. I am not trying to be some "poor little girl." That is a label you put on me, not one I painted for myself.

    You are trying so freaking hard to make this my fault. It's not. The church isn't what it claims to be...like it or not that is how it is.

    The things you are implying are outrageous. Take a step back, look in the mirror, and ask yourself if Heavenly Father would be proud of the way you are judging me. Please.

    You claim I need self-examination, and that speaks volumes for you.

    Again... sarcasm... look it up. Duh...

  1. Anonymous Says:

    do you even believe in god?

  1. ~Rob~ Says:

    I'm an ex-member as well, but this sort of article, giving pictures of people in what the LDS Faith believes are sacred garments, is not a thing that should be done.

    It doesn't matter what faith you are a part of. Disrespecting any religion by showing what they feel is sacred (like showing images of Mohammed, or showing garments worn in ceremonies by other faiths) is an incredibly shallow act.

    I would like to formally request that you remove the images of the garments. Again, I am not LDS. I just think it's incredibly disrespectful.

  1. Maria Says:

    Rob--I completely agree with you. It is a wonderful thing that now in the present, we live in a country that will not bring on a holocaust—for big events are always brought on by the disrespect that others have for something. I am glad that the worst that can happen overall in this country is bashing. To other readers: As for garments, other religions, such as the Jewish faith, wear their own “symbols” that remind them of God and promises they have made to him and themselves. Mormons just happen to keep their symbols out of the view of people. There is a good reason why temple ceremonies and garments are kept "secret". If they were not, they would be verbally or physically trashed by people such as the builders of this site. Should we start bashing Jews and Muslims because they believe differently? Many people do not understand that there is a difference between the Mormon gospel and what a Mormon member of the church would say. Everyone has their own opinion, and members will always give their view of what the gospel means to them, and what their interpretation of something means. If you want to learn about a religion, you do not go to only its members, you go straight to the source. You go their written doctrine (not books that are all opinion from a member) but the book of Mormon, and statements by the leaders of the church (the highest leaders of the church). You want to learn generally about Christ? You read the bible. You don’t ask a white supremist who says he is Christian, and does unchristian-like actions. Understand that members are only people, and people are not perfect. They will say what they believe something means to them, and the listener will take it as what the entire religion is about. I wanted to make a few comments since seeing this site:
    The first: Joseph Smith and the revelation to use the symbols that were supposedly taken from the Free Masons (who go back to the Knights Templar and King Solomon, who had priests "ordained by God")--It can be also easily said that because many of the priests in Solomon's time were Knights Templar, the ancient signs that Masons use would have come from the priests, and if there was an actual "restoration" of all things during Smith's time, these same symbols and signs could be the same. The same signs and symbols would basically be crossing paths once more.
    About baptism for the dead--people baptize for the dead, but it would still depend on the deceased to accept it. No Mormon can "make" a non-Mormon a member.
    About sinning: If I were commanded by God to not eat eggs, for example, but I still ate eggs, I would be sinning. Not because I actually ate an egg, but because I disobeyed a commandment, no matter how stupid it may seem to be. The Mormons were told that it would be a sin to take tobacco. During that time, no one knew of the harmfulness of tobacco, but it turns out there was a good reason for the commandment. (Another note: Mormons do not think drinking coke is a sin). Mormons should not hold a non-member accountable for things that a Mormon is not supposed to do. Those members who do are judging, but the church--the doctrine--should not be blamed for that. People have their own accountability. Again, people are not perfect, and will say what they will say.
    On temples: A member who is not "worthy" to enter the temple but does, would not necessarily be found out. Many people go in there who should not be in there. It is not the duty for members to spot them and throw them out. The only person that the “unworthy” member/non-member would be accountable to would be God.
    There are many people who have been offended by members of the Mormon church. It is too bad that the offended would leave the church for that reason, when people are not perfect, and will state that their opinion on particular doctrine is shared by the entire church. Many people who have claimed to believe in Christ (Catholics and Christians) have done atrocious things (ex. crusades). Should one believe then that the doctrine of Christ is evil because the people that claim to be his followers are doing evil deeds? No.
    Why do people have to be so offensive to members of a church, unless that group is a physical threat? I have a neighbor who does not believe the church is "true' but sees that living the way members of the church live could make someone happy. I don't agree with the beliefs of Jews, but I do not go making websites about them and about the clothes many of them wear. Why can't people leave other people's beliefs alone? Do you have a website also about Muslim beliefs or Buddhist beliefs? I hope not. Sorry for the long speech—just sharing my “opinion”.

  1. Cindy Says:

    Rob, I agree with you on that people should not be disrespectful as well. You make a great point about this. I am not a member, and have never thought about it, but saw the garment pictures on Google. I was curious and found from this site and others they are "sacred" to Mormons, and thought it was very disrespectful and cruel that they were posted. I also found that they wear those to remind them about commandments. I am a Christian, and think it sad that this site can be so judgmental. I also see that some people blogging might have been offended by a Mormon, so why stoop to the offensive Mormon's level? Would Christ go about saying how weird people are and laugh about them? Would he be mad at someone for wearing things that are a reminder to do good? They are at least trying. I also know that their money they give to the church (10%) goes to helping build their churches, and going to impoverished counties to give aid. That is more than I could say for myself!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    As far as babtism for the dead. the ordinance is performed in proxy and the deceased individual has the right to accept or regect it. Ialso would like to respectfully but firmly request that the images of the temple Garment and of the handshake be removed because they are sacred to us and we feel it is disrespectful to the lord and to us.

  1. Andee Says:

    I would like to respectfully mention that the choice of baptism is up to the specific individual, and making that decision for someone who is already dead is a huge mistake (to put it lightly.)

    I am not going to take anything down. That should be evident.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    It is completely disrespectful to plaster over the internet, the things which others hold sacred by indigent means.
    You who hold tight to words like freedom of speech, you are like a Neo-Nazi who stands infront of a synagogue, and hands out antisemetic propaganda.
    Let your hatred keep you warm at night, but you won't find piece of mind in this life or the next.
    Take these pictures down.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    To Andee's comment posted August 27:

    You must understand first of all that baptism means far more than affiliating yourself with any particular denomination. I would like to explain baptism for users who are most likely going to have a misrepresentation of what baptism means when they read this website.

    Baptism on a christian standpoint is not to say which church you belong to (although most people understand it that way), but rather baptism is an eternal law which all must follow according to Jesus Christ. The Savior, Jesus Christ was baptized by John the Baptist, because He was "to fulfill all righteousness"

    "But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
    "And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
    "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water..." (Matt. 3:14-16)

    Not only did the Jesus get baptized but He commanded that others were to be baptized. At the end of the Savior's ministry, He said to His deciples, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"
    (see Matt. 28:19-20)

    So baptism is an ordinance the Savior followed, and commanded that others follow it as well. If anyone who truly believes in Jesus Christ wants to fully take part in the blessings the Savior offers, a part of having faith in Him is following the Savior's commandments including baptism.

    So if the Savior were to have His church upon the earth, which He led and not simply a church led by men, then He would give righteous men the authority to baptize in His name just as He did to the Levites who were given authority to perform the ordinances of sacrifice in the tabernacle. That authority to act in His name was explained by Paul when he was teaching the Hebrews about a man being "called of God" to act in authority as a priest (Hebrews 5:4-6).

    Because He is a Just God, He will give an opportunity for all to come to Him, even those who did not have the chance in this earthlife. So what must be done? Baptism for the dead, just as it was done in the days of the church the Savior set up. (1 Cor. 15:29)

    Hence baptisms for and in behalf of the dead does not make dead people a member of a church, but instead opens the doorway for them to follow the Savior.

    So to say any religion is doing a disfavor to others by being baptized in behalf of those passed on would be to say the church Jesus Christ set up is in fallacy, which I personally do not believe.

    Any individual who understands that principle as a christian would probably agree that it would be more a disfavor to not try to baptize for and in behalf of ALL who have passed away, keeping in mind that does not mean those individuals HAVE to believe or accept it, but rather, gives them the opportunity to fully follow Christ.

    Andee, I am not writing this messege for you, but rather, I am writing it for others who will probably have a misunderstanding of it with the way you worded it above. You may, however, want to go and study some of those scriptures yourself so you do not add so much bias to what you intend to make as a pro-truth article about a church.

  1. Andee Says:

    I know what baptism means, thank you.

  1. Andee Says:

    Oh, and when I have something positive to say, I will say it.

    Right now I am learning everything that was kept from me in the history, and outright lies. It's pretty hard to find something good to say about an organization that would do that.

    If you want to pretend it's not a big deal, fine. But I refuse to stand back and let other people get bamboozled.

  1. Brittany Says:

    I just want to say that it is offensive to me, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to see the pictures that you have posted. I didn't read your blog, because I know your intention, to get me to read it and believe what you are saying, but the truth is, I feel the Spirit when I read from the words given by Prophets, not from antimormon sites. I have nothing to say as to your beliefs, but I do have feelings towards the pictures.
    I love the Church and the we teach, preach, and love!! I know this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, that we are all children of God, and He loves us. You and me, and everybody else. I love the Temple as well and it is a sacred place that I go to visit to feel the Spirit of my Heavenly Father and my Savior. Anybody can tell me that they lie, or that it's not right, but I follow my feelings, the warm fuzzies that I feel deep down, because all that is good is given by God. Satan doesn't give us anything good, and lies are bad; therefore, Satan wouldn't provide us comfort and "warm fuzzies", so the Gospel is true.
    I am sorry if you have been offended, but I ask you to take a minute, put your feelings aside, and seek out these feelings of comfort, guidance, reassurance, and blessing because I promise you, that if you will kneel down, forgive all who have offended you (though it may be hard to do, we have been commanded to forgive all men, and the Lord will forgive who he will forgive, and He will give you the strength to move on), and ask sincerely to know whether the Church is true, I assure you, you will get an answer. If you choose not to, you have that right, but I ask you to respect me and my beliefs, and my testimony, as I respect yours, and refrain from posting pictures and information that you might have concerning the Temple. There is nothing secret, and I don't have an issue with people knowing about our Temple, but remember the importance of the temple and the blessings given and covenants made there.
    I love this Church, I love President Thomas S. Monson, he is a called servant and Prophet of God, just as Moses and Joseph Smith were. I know the Book of Mormon is true and is another testament of Jesus Christ, adding to the words we've been given in the Bible. I am thankful for my testimony and pray for all who are seeking answers to life's biggest questions.
    I hope this posting isn't offensive or hurtful to anybody, and I want tell you, and all who are reading this, that I don't think you are bad people and I know that God loves you, and I do respect your beliefs. All I ask, once again, is that you respect mine and my families as well.
    Thank you!!

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney,

    Unfortunately I came across your blog looking for something else and was very disappointed in your content.
    I would first like to say that I agree with much earlier posts about people "threatening" you, it was very inappropriate. I would also like to say that it is unfortunate that you were offended by the church. It is strange that after being offended you feel the need to offend others.
    I'm all for seeking the truth and letting others know, but that doesn't seem to be what you are doing. It seems that you are maliciously attacking the Church and its members. You yourself said that you are pissed off. When we are angry we lash out, inspite of right and wrong, or truth and lies.
    I do hope that whatever bad feelings you have may be mended

  1. Andee Says:

    People... People...

    I posted this a year ago, and people are still "disappointed" and "saddened" to find it.

    Sorry you feel that way.

    Get over it.

    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    We can't get over it! This is offensive and untruthful. Please, for those millions of the Church who are existing very happy in our beliefs would you rather remove this post. There is no point. You are not making your point or saving anyone. What it comes down to is for yourself. This is disgusting and unfruitful. You might not remove this and if that is the case then may you someday realize the ridiculousness of this blog. We hope for your well-being since you are not fully understanding how evil horrible this really is. Remember what you have learned from the Spirit and comeback to true happiness. dp

  1. Andrea Says:

    None of things done in the temple are secret, they are sacred. Do you permit people to look in on your families at their most intimate moments. If you do then there is something seriously wrong with you. I say this so you can seek for help. I know very many nice members of the Mormon church and of other churches who seem to me more reasonable than what you see. They are truly happy and who are you to deny them of this. I believe that everything good needs to be professed as good, not as something cheap. This is strange that your blog post has made me sympathize even more with Mormons. Living among a lot of them and not being one I can truly say they are of the most tolerant people I've ever met.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    ahem ahem is this thing on.....
    ok i never got this part... the bible says in it near the end not to add or remove to put it simply so why do we worsip a shitty little book?(the book of mormon) i never did get this i got that whole faith feel the lord be the lord bla bla bla but why the book? ya i know off subject a little but i must know because i just dont get it it a book mickey

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I'd appreciate it if you had more respect towards other people's believes and religions.I just want to leave you with a scripture from the Book of Mormon. Hopefully it will help you remember all that is true.I don't ask you to believe what it says right away, but follow the instructions that are found in Moroni 10:4.
    Hope u read spanish.

    "Porque he aqui, si niegas al Espiritu Santo, una vez que haya morado en ti, y sabes que lo niegas, he aqui, es un pecado que es imperdonable; si, y al que asesina contra la luz y el conocimiento de dios, no le es facil obtener perdon; si, hijo mio, te digo que no le es facil obtener perdon."(Alma 39:6)

    p.s. my name is Blanca

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney, I think its quite sad to see all these religious people who are very insecure because they live in a small world. I've observed many religious (separate from spiritual) people and it seems like they can't understand why people don't feel the same way they do about their faith its based on feelings not truths and their environment kinda like putting cattle in the same pen they really don't realize they are penned and not free to roam.

  1. Poe Says:

    To all those who have come to this site out of curiosity about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
    Your curiosity is given by Heavenly Father. Pursue it. But, please pursue it by looking to The Source of truth. Pray to Heavenly Father. Seek wisdom and information from unbiased materials. If you're curious about the church, I encourage you to visit the church's official website at www.lds.org or www.mormon.org.

    I can not express my sadness in seeing sacred topics splashed across the screen in this way. To the author of this blog, I beg you to reconsider and delete this blog.

    Jessica Poe

  1. Anonymous Says:

    You accuse LDS people of assuming that they are right and that they need to save others....isn't that what you are doing here? If you want to leave the Church, that's your choice. But why the need to spread lies about them? Or to treat lightly things that are sacred to them? Do Catholics not think they are in the right? Do the Jews not think THEY are right? Make your own choices, but allow others to make theirs, untainted by your bad experiences and unfortunate misconceptions.

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    I stopped replying to the comments left on this article a long time ago, but you mentioned that I was spreading LIES.

    LIES.

    Please, prove me wrong. Show me the lies I told. There are none.

    Andee

  1. Lynn Says:

    Hello Sydney. What is your story? Understanding that will help us all understand truth.

    Sincerely,
    Lynn

  1. birdeeb Says:

    As I read anything where someone is trying to sway people from the church I love & they talk of being lied to & hurt I often wonder what happened. Who hurt you? I know it is often common for people to be pushed away by the natural man that comes out in most all people. People who offend & don't realize they are. So I am just curious as to what has happened to you. Sorry it happened & I can see you are a very nice person. ;o)

  1. Starry Says:

    Hi Sydney,

    I've read through your blog and I would like to share some thoughts. Yes, you are absolutely correct about the Church telling only half-truths and limiting research to its members. The reason behind this is because of what it does not want brought up in the open. When the Church was restored, ALL the principles and ordinances were restored as well. Unfortunately, over time, they have lost many of those ordinances and/or principles. Because the Church is trying to appeal to everyone, it tries to cover up all the changes that they have made. But isn't the Gospel supposed to be firm and unchanging? Yes, it is. And that's why the Church isn't telling the whole truth about their history. I've done MY research and I know that the Church is NOT what it professes to be. However, the principles that it was originally based on ARE true. I KNOW that Joseph Smith restored many sacred principles and ordinances upon this earth and I still hold true to those teachings today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints does not follow those same teachings today. So, please, research the ORIGINAL Mormon manuscripts, journals, writings, and records if you truly want to share the REAL truth about the LDS Church to others. If you just want to rant about what the LDS church is like today, fine by me. But I can tell you this. It is NOT the same church that was restored by Joseph Smith in 1830. Be very careful about what you are "telling the truth" about, because you don't know the whole story.

    Sincerely, Spring (yes, that's my real name)

  1. Andee Says:

    My name isn't Sydney, it's Andee. If you had read through my blog you might have noticed that ;)

    You don't *know* the church is true, even if you think you do. You BELIEVE the church is true. There is a huge difference.

    Simply put, if proving that your church was true was as easy as praying and reading the Book of Mormon, you would have a hell of a lot more members than you do. Less than 1% of the world is Mormon. Did you know that?

    I find it amazing and amusing that you think you know the whole story.

    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Please take off these pictures and mini movies from youtube. It is being disrespectful.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Man, you really just dont get it! I feel soo sorry for you, because in the end you are the one whose going to be suffering from all your sins. Thats what the devil does to you. He makes you believe that wrong is right. That the inteligence you believe to have is all that you need. I will pray for you to repent sooner than later, so you wont find yourself in the presence of god wishing that mountains would cover you because you cant stand his presence. I don't know what made you not want to be a member of the church, but whatever it was, its not worth it. Open your eyes! Don't let the devil make you more miserable than you already are. Don't forget thats his goal on earth. To make everyone miserable like him.

    ~ Blanca

  1. Starry Says:

    I'm sorry, I wasn't sure whether I should call you Andee or Sydney. My mistake. :)

    As for proving that the Mormon Church is true.....I can't prove it any more than I can prove that you actually have a brain. Can you see it, can you hear it, can you feel it, can you touch it, can you taste it? No, you can't, therefore you can't prove that you have a brain. I don't have any more proof that you actually have a brain than you have proof that the Church is not true. It seems to me that you resent the Church for some reason and find every possible way that you can think of to tear it down, yet you cannot. I am STILL waiting for actual proof that it isn't true.

  1. Jeff Says:

    I find it fascinating that you take the time to dedicate such a strong portion of your life to this endeavor of showing the lies of the mormon church. I have been lied to many times by many people and organizations...but my typical reaction is to walk away. I find that there is no solace in proving to others that they are wrong about anything. As you read through the posts above how many people do you feel will have changed their minds?

    And what value is it to you if they did? Have you rescued someone by showing that they have been living an lie? They wake in the morning and go about their daily lives believing and living (according to you) a lie...so what? many of them are happy in doing so. Why does it become your person duty or obligation to inform of it? and in the end to what net benefit of humanity is it that you do so? I'm not saying that you don't have the right...but I must confess that I am at a loss as to the why.

    BTW, you have indicated that you have not lied...but that is not true either.

    For example in one response to brother zip you make the statement that you must pay 10% of everything. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has no such requirement. It is 10% of your increase.

    You make the statement that Joseph Smith got the temple endowment from the Mason's and then imply that it is therefore not from God. But this (to use 8 hours lunch's terminology) is a Fallacy of False Cause.

    You say that the church teaches that Joseph Smith sat with plates open but that this is not true that he peers into a hat. What you don't state is that both are true. Furthermore, your implication is that by looking into a hat Joseph could not have been a prophet nor have translated the book. To which I say poppycock, no such implication is true. It is just as possible that Joseph is both a prophet and translated the book by looking into a hat as by any other means.

    You also state that church lied to you by showing that picture.

    What I must confess to enjoying the most (and you will have to forgive my arrogance here but I just can't not type this) Is that is seems to be perfectly okay of eighthour, Dutch and yourself to make fun of those who profess believe in the church but at that same time condemn a members who's post is not polite.

    I also find that many of your statements are rather amusing.
    "less than 1% of world is Mormon."
    and your point is? At one point in time the Membership of the church was 6 people. If truth is based on percentage the Roman Catholic church is true and we should all join today.

    Simply put, if proving that your church was true was...then you would have a ...lot more members...

    I see. The part of actually getting people to READ the book and then to PRAY to God about it...that part is really easy. BTW, you also left of the part about "remember how merciful the Lord hath been to the children of men", about "pondering it in your heart", and about "asking with real intent."


    Thank you for an enjoying read and may you find peace in your life...though as I mentioned above, I cannot fathom how this site will help you do so.

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    Man, Jeff. That sure was a long post for someone who just walks away when he thinks he's being lied to.

    You're so busy arguing about who you think is a liar that you've neglected to provide any evidence at all to support your reasons for coming here. Namely, that you believe in some deity and that this deity would rather have you arguing on the Internet than say, helping the starving poor.

    Who the hell are you to judge Andee so harshly for a single post from over a year ago when you're out here peddling your baseless claims of some god who you think loves you (but must hate the starving masses in Africa). Seriously.

    Show me the evidence that supports your beliefs and I'll sign right up. I'll take back anything you can demonstrate to be in error. Until then why don't you go stand in the corner with everyone else who has failed trying.

  1. Andee Says:

    Hey, thanks Doug! Good seeing you :)

    I have to say that I don't have the energy to keep up with this whole TBM comment fiasco anymore. It just pisses me off and ruins my day. Most of the time I just read 'em, post em, and move on.

    I loved the comments you made. You are one smart cookie ;)

    BTW, I can't wait to see the new website when it's up, your photos are FANTASTIC. So jealous.

    Andee

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Yes, I Believe... But I Also Know... I Know That The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Is A True Church... The True Church... Yes, I Believe But I Also Know... My Faith Grows As My Knowledge Grows... I Know... Faith... I Know..
    Thank You For The Opprotunity To Share.
    Nikki

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I have been following this thread for some time now and it makes me sad in so many ways. I was investigating the church for quite awhile because I was very lost spiritually and thought this church held all of the answers I was looking for. Initially, I found this to be true. The people at the Ward I met were wonderful and kind and generous with their time and energies. But the more I began to look into the actual history of the church, the more distrubed I became. By disturbed I mean the downright silliness of some of the statements by early church leaders (i.e. Orson Pratt says in a speach that the reason we can't remember of pre-mortal lives is because when our spirits are in that state, they are adult size, but when they are sent to earth and compressed into an "infant sized capsule" there is simply no room for memories and the assertions by Joseph Smith that people live on the moon, that they are six feet tall, and that they live for 1,000 years, and finally that yes indeed, people even live on the sun).

    I just can't support a religion that is based on a man who would make such obvious and ridiculous assertions. Nevermind all of the other lies, misrepresentations, contradictions and downright brainwashing that the religion is based on.

    Anyway, I'd like to say that I think people like Andee are brave to put themselves out there for the abuse that she takes because of this site. It is only through people like her that other people can be enlightened.

    Finally, I have never taken any negative thing I heard or read about the church on face value. I considered the source and went looking for backup and documentation through other sources. Mostly, all things have been verified as true.

    I for one am glad that I did not join the church, because I have found it to be an extremely invasive religion that completely shuts out the ability to remain an individual.

    Michelle S.

  1. Mark Says:

    I'm just curious Andee, do you believe in Jesus Christ, or do you believe all Christian churches are wrong?

    Mark

  1. Shannon Says:

    Wow I'm actually in awe right now after reading this and seeing the things u put up. I would think as an ex-mormon u would know the sacredness and have a little more respect for it. You are entitled to believe what u want and write and post what u want, but I can't help but feel a little offended by it. But considering other anti mormon posts on youtube and such I guess it's good u cleared up some things such as be naked and such. But things like this just make my testimony grow. I hope u found the happiness and a church u can truly believe in if it wasn't here for u.

  1. Mark Says:

    I'm still curious Andee, do you believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, or do you beleive all Christian churches are incorrect about that pinciple?

  1. Melissa Says:

    I have been a member of this church for 13 years. I do not appreciate your site, or what things you have said in it. It is inappropriate and immature.
    I completely agree with previous commentors when they say this blog will be held against you.
    Please take our feelings into consideration when preaching against our church, something we find very sacred and hold dear to our hearts.
    As for the 'explanations' on everything, those are not neccessary. Those who want to know what that is all about need to be baptized into our church, take the covenants upon themselves, and become worthy in the eyes of Heavenly Father. There is a reason we don't just share this with the world, and that is because it is a sacred work and ordinance.
    Please, next time you feel like being blasphemous, remember those who you are offending.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Melissa,

    You need to take a look at who YOUR church is offending. It offends the sensibilities of every intelligent and thinking creature on this planet to be constantly inundated with not only the downright silliness (see previous posts) but the out and out lies that YOUR church teaches. It hasn't had the ability to tell the truth from the very beginning. Joseph Smith can't even get the telling of the "First Vision" correct! He was a gold digging, egomaniacal, master manipulator who seized on mass hysteria when he saw it! Any church that would absolutely command me to give a certain amount of my income to the church just to become "worthy" to attend the temple and perform it's ridiculous, paganistic rituals is absurd. A true Christian church accepts us for who we are and welcomes us with open arms no matter what state we are in - worthy or unworthy! And remember, Christ came to this earth for the SINNERS not for the people (like you) who are already PERFECT!

    I was an investigator of the church for a long time (they almost had me) until I started doing my own research. And by research I mean I was reading church doctrine, not anti-mormon, information, and it lead me to more distress than anything else. The inconsistencies and downright lies are so pervasive that one can't help to just stumble upon them. Take a few moments, Melissa, and curl up with some old "Journal of Discourse" speeches and see how you feel about your church at the end. I know, however, that you won't do this because you have been completely brainwashed to believe that anything that is said in the past the contradicts current teachings is simply brushed away by a new "revelation" by a current Prophet. How convenient it must be to just be able to sweep such unpleasantries under the rug and act like they never happened. At least a good Catholic would admit to the Crusades and to the atrocities that occurred during them. Your church won't even fess up to it's roles in the Mountain Meadows Massacre!

    Michelle S.

  1. Andee Says:

    Well said, Michelle :)

  1. Taylor Says:

    When you say the things about baptisms for the dead and how the mormon church BAPTIZES the people, that is not accurate. What happens when someone gets baptized in proxy for a dead person, that person in Heaven gets to choose if they want to join or not. They have the agency to do that.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I really DO NOT like the image of LDS people that this site is painting. Are you afraid to be part of the true church? I don't quite understand how one learns all the teaching of this church and full out lies and says that LDS people are being lied to. I simply cannot comprehend on what a sad life you must be leading if you are shying away from the light that the Lord has provided you with. I am concerned for your wellbeing because you obviously don't know what you are thinking. What "research" have you come up with? lies.....

  1. Anonymous Says:

    this site is basically derived from all things evil. i don't care about your opinion in this case because it is obviously going to be pure BASHING of the church that is true. WHY?? why have you and your friends that back you up gone so insane into thinking that research you have done has anything to do with anything. I bet if you provided me with the "esearch" that i could point out everything wrong, but you would apparently disagree because you are not open-minded, even if you say you are. i may not know you to say that, but by the things you have done with this site makes me want to make sure i don't come to know you and your "followers." where did this hatred come from?? did somebody do something to you and this is all just revenge??

  1. Anonymous Says:

    There is a long standing saying about those who have not reconciled with themselves about leave something . . . in this instance it would be -

    Andee may have left the church, but it seems she cannot leave the church alone. . .

    I'd say it is time to get over it and move on.

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    There is a long standing saying on my side of the fence, too.

    It's called, "Have an authentic thought... just once."

    I'd say that you have no idea how much you have been lied to by this church, and one day you might see it the organization for what it really is. I will be here for you when or if that happens.

  1. Rochelle Says:

    Andee -

    you've been asked what happened that you could not leave the church alone? My question is: what have you done that you hate yourself so much?

    chell

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hello Guys. A very interesting debate on the age old question that eludes us. Is God real and if so why does this religion topic crop up again and again?
    I guess it must be when we were able to reason for ourselves, form our own opinions, make decisions on which way our lives were going and everything else in between.
    I guess if all things were equal and it didn't matter which church we joined then I suppose that when death touches us, thats that.
    But sureley there must be something more...
    Consider the words Spock uttered to Captain Kirk when previously he rejected the ritual of Kolinar on his home planet.
    Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?
    "I saw Vgers planet, a planet populated by living machines, Unbelievable technology , but with all of its pure logic Vger is barren , cold, no history, no beauty. I should have known. Spock what should you have known? Jim this simple feeling is beyond Vgers comprehension, no meaning, no hope , no answers, it is asking questions, is this all that I am is there nothing more?
    I weep for Vger as I would a brother as I was when I came aboard, so is Vger now, empty incomplete and searching , logic and knowledge are not enough."

    What are we searching for?
    A God?
    A church?
    A brother?
    A sister?
    Love?
    Humility?
    Compassion?

    Look at a child and ask yourself ONE question?
    What does it want?
    Love? Warmth? Friends? A mom and Dad? brothers and sisters?
    Food? Clothes?
    No!
    All it wants is to know where it came from.

  1. Eight Hour Lunch Says:

    @Anonymous You said,"All it wants is to know where it came from." Really? That's all? I told mine about the big bang and evolution, and she's totally fine with it. Unless you're a scientist, that kind of question probably doesn't doesn't deserve much of your time. It's the kind of question only a scientist can answer.

    People keep living to pursue what makes them happy. I'd argue happiness is what people want, and the people obsessing over their origins only do so because they think it'll make them happy.

    That being said, I'm happy, and it didn't take swallowing any supernatural explanation of my origin to get there. Something to think about.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    No matter what your position is, these pictures are disrespectful to faithful LDS church members, and it was wrong to post them.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Sydney,

    First, I am a member of the LDS church. I have struggled with the basis and fact of it at times too, just like most members would probably tell you. That being said, the images and videos on this post made me a little ill. I think that it's so unfortunate that something's happened in your past, and you feel this intense hatred toward our church. Clearly, this obsession is literally consuming your whole life. Is it really worth it? You are obviously an intelligent person, and I think that your efforts could be so much better directed. While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, this goes beyond that. You have crossed the line, and taken it into a blasphemous territory. In response to one of your earlier comments, I ABSOLUTELY think this post is a mistake. I don't by any means insinuate that you will "burn in hell" for this, but would it be worth the risk? Is it worth plastering hate-filled messages on some silly little blog? Messages that, while it is a silly little blog, will offend so many more than it will ever help. You won't change the world with this ranting. You won't save the masses from the "evil hateful lies" of the Mormon religion. I guess what I'm trying to say is, live, and let live. To each his own. Tolerance is beautiful, and this blog shows anything but tolerance. Let me just close by saying that in our wonderful U.S. Constitution's first amendment it talks of religious freedom. You are free to practice any way you choose, and so are Mormons. So let them practice as they choose, I'm sure they will pay you the same respect.
    Thanks for your time,
    CC

  1. Gianfredi Says:

    It is simple... you will repent here or there, you are but a ripple.. but God still loves you though you are greatly mislead.

  1. Bart Says:

    Don't know how I got here. But all I can say is reading this blog has strengthened my testimony of the truthfullness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thanks for all the posts.

    I just finished reading Lucy Smith's autobiography (Joseph Smith's mother), and found it incredible. There are subtleties from Joseph's mother that filled my heart when I heard them.

    I read about one evening when Joseph came home late, he was somber, eyes were welled up in tears, and he wouldn't say a word as his mother provided dinner for him. She could tell that his heart was broken. When he finally opened up to her, he told her how the angel Moroni cast him to the ground when he tried to retrieve the golden plates from their place of hiding.

    She also wrote about how Joseph had never read the bible cover-to-cover and that he couldn't write very good. She mentioned that they had nightly family gatherings to study the scriptures. She said Joseph was always quiet and sometimes disinterested. Once he had receive the vision and started to receive instruction from Moroni, she said Joseph began leading the nighly religious discussion with profound understanding. She said it was a witness to her of his divine calling.

    A mother knows her son and his character. There is no possible way of manufacturing such incredible and complete doctrine. What 14 year old boy could possibly create such a masterpiece. The witness of his mother seeing Josephs emotions and persecutions through all this and always staying true to the Lord and his church is inspiring.

    God bless you for bringing up this blog so we could have open discussion and sharing of our testimonies.

    -bart

  1. logan Says:

    that article was absolutly gross. im about to go on my mission in two months and this makes me sick.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I guess it makes me more sad than anything else. Even if you no longer believe it why would you trash something that many cherish as sacred. You must still have friends who are active church members- why wipe your feet on them? I have different views of Catholic faith but I don't make fun of the cross. I don't agree with the Jewish beliefs but I don't desecrate the Star of David. Don't you have anything positive or constuctive to do with your time than belittle what others cherish? You are a sad person I think.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    This a classic pyschological thing that individuals do when they decide the don't believe something. You have to rationalize your hatred, dislike, etc. I mean, not once does the author ever really bash the church. This is simply a tell all in hopes that people will think Mormons are crazy and he was right to leave.

    And the part about baptism for the dead is thrown way out of THE REASON AND CONTEXT they are performed.
    He wrote, ""We know what is true and right, and we are going to baptize you into this religion whether you like it or not." Religion is as personal as it can get, and for them to blanket baptize people shows how little respect the Church has for other beliefs. Growing up, my Mom was taught that doing baptisms for the dead was an honor, and now that we are both seeing things differently, we believe differently."

    In reality, the ceremony IS PERFORMED on behalf of someone who has passed on. The part he left out is THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO ACCEPT THE BAPTISM OR NO!!! The individual retains free agency and choice. It is done so that they have the opportunity to have the ordinance performed for them.

    And the "death penalty" video is a clip from "The Godmakers" A video made by an excommunicated stake president and has been condemned by the church for the lies it holds. That being one of them.

  1. Andee Says:

    Anonymous,

    I am a girl. At least get that right.

    Andee

  1. Laurent Michel Says:

    Agreed with Anon /yesterday

    The argument against the baptism of the dead is argued with a invalid point, proving you really don't seem to know this church at all. As he says, it's NOT a forced conversion, but rather the act of giving them the choice to choose to accept the church in the afterlife, since by doctrine, one cannot accept the church without the physical ceremony. The purpose of the thing is to allow all the CHOICE to choose.

    your reply to him insinuates he got that wrong. I would like to state the otherwise.

    I would also like to say, pertaining to the argument about spiritual discernment of unworthy people entering the temple, in my experience with the church, I have NEVER heard stories in the vein of which you speak. To the contrary, I have been in a case when a member of my temple group was not a member, and due to mistakes with the language barrier he was almost allowed to baptise for the dead. And, no, he was not found by some "strange spiritual discernment". It was merely a case of "he looks very confused and out of place, let's get someone to ask him questions in spanish" The situation was approached with due gravity, and all worked out. ...however, the situation could have been misenterpreted by those illogical people who are just too religious to be the kind of "faith-building" story of which you speak, but I in haste point out that that would be an error of an overly zealous member, (of which all faiths have some), NOT a general sense of false mysticality portrayed by the leaders of the church themselves.

    A third point: The fact that God is going to need a fake name and secret handshakes for you to get into heaven IS laughable. And, thus, I really doubt that any church member that has a brain is going to think that is the only thing you need to get into heaven. Hardly ever has there been a religious ceremony that portrayed what it was supposed to represent. There's always symbolism and crap in most of them.

    Another point: Your presentation of "mormon underwear" debases the church's validity through the simple stupidity of how those garments look. You MIGHT want to mention that mormons only wear those to the temple, as the way you stated it can be misread to mean they wear those ludicrous costumes every day from that day on. Reading it that way would portray the mormon church in a more ridiculous light that it actually is.

    Thus, I must say, that while you comment that, and indeed, the pro-mormon comments to this post are stupid, and some assume you are a "Satan-posessed crazy person", by the way you twist the facts, as i have stated in the paragraphs before, you assume, and portray to all that read your article that all mormons are "God-posessed crazy people".

    Hence, I wish to request that you remove said biases from the article so that the unsuspecting reader may read an article about "secrets about the mormon temple" rather than an article about "secrets about the mormon temple and some incorrect twisting of facts that makes mormons look like complete fools"

    Thank you for your time and effort,
    Laurent

  1. Dan Silva Says:

    Although I can't say anything against your freedom of speech to post these things, I can say that you are disrespecting a culture's right to do as it wishes. Do not presume to be 'tolerant' or anything of the things you supposedly stand for. I wonder what would happen if someone posted a photo of you in your underwear, or even naked, because this is the same 'raping' you are doing to the privacy of the mormon culture.

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I am really sad that you have such harsh feelings about the lds church that you would make this blog. You should always realy on your feelings when your praying weather a bishop tells you to stay in a relationship or not. If you are living the way you should God does answere prayers. As far as the whole brain washing theory it is simply your bad experience with one member of the church. You should of fasted and prayed some more. As far as the lds church goes if you read the Book of Mormon and pray sincerely to know if it is true you will find out for yourself. This religion is a perfect knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ. The people how ever are not perfect! Jesus is real and he does know and love you. You have to know that posting pictures of people in garments is wrong. Bashing something that you obviously do not have an understanding of is wrong. I pray that you do!