Sunday, April 27, 2008

List of Questions to ask Mormon Leaders

These aren't my questions, but were prepared by others on PostMormon.org . Yet, I thought they are so great, I thought I'd share them here. Now, as many of you know I was an amateur apologist for Mormonism before I discovered Mormonism wasn't true, so I know a good many apologetic responses to many of these questions. However, I think these questions bring up a lot of the significant issues and when one mentally adds up the probability that all of the apologetic excuses one right after the other one begins to see that the most likely explanation is that Mormonism is just not true.

Questions by wintersfootsteps

Do you consider it lying when someone does not tell you the complete story and purposefully leaves out certain details?


Why was I taught an inaccurate version of events from church leaders regarding the first vision and translation of the Book of Mormon?


Why was I not taught about Joseph Smith's past regarding treasure seeking with the same seer stone used in the translation of the Book of Mormon?


Can you understand that when people realize the church didn't share all the facts regarding this matter it makes the church seem as if it is covering something up?


Now that many people have admitted that Joseph Smith used a seer stone to translate the Book of Mormon, as well as treasure seeking facts, why don't they teach and promote the accurate version of events?


Why does the church use tools, like paintings, that depict the translation of the Book of Mormon in a false manner to teach children and investigators?


Why not show paintings depicting the actual events of the translation of the Book of Mormon with Joseph Smith using a seer stone in a top hat?


Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints believe the Book of Abraham to be scripture?


Why doesn't the church tell the complete and full story regarding the Book of Abraham?


Why did Joseph Smith translate the Egyptian papyri and claim it as scripture when many Egyptologists have studied the papyri and translate them to common funerary texts?


Do you find it troubling that a "Prophet of God" could get this wrong?


Do you understand why so many people see this as a giant red flag in regards to being able to trust Joseph Smith and his translating abilities?


Why did Joseph Smith believe the Kinderhook Plates were record from God and make plans to translate them?


Why don't most Mormons know about the situation regarding the Kinderhook Plates?


If Joseph Smith did nothing wrong, why not talk about it?


Why does the Mormon Church teach that polygamy will be practiced in heaven?


Why would it even be necessary to be married in heaven?


Why would God or an angel of God command Joseph Smith to practice polygamy?


If an angel of God commanded Joseph Smith to practice polygamy, why was it necessary for him to keep it secret from his own wife?


How could a "Prophet of God" deceive his own wife?


Isn't lying to your wife breaking a commandment?


Why would Joseph Smith practice polygamy even though the 12th article of faith clearly states: We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. Even though polygamy was never legal?


If the current prophet were to receive revelation that polygamy was again necessary, would you or male family members take on other wives?


What if your own wife were against the idea of taking on other wives? Would you do it anyway?


Why were 33 of the know women sealed to Joseph Smith in the temple already married to living men?


Why would a "Prophet of God" think it to be a good idea to take on two wives (Helen Mar Kimball and Nancy Winchester) when they were only 14 years old at the time?


Do you know it was uncommon for 14 year olds to be married, even in that time period?


Why did the first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants (1835) include a section denying the practice of polygamy?


Why would it be necessary to lie about polygamy being practiced by Mormons if it was truly needed to reach the celestial kingdom?


Can you understand why it is so hard to trust an organization that was clearly being deceitful?


Why would God command people to break the law and then ask them to lie about it?


If polygamy was truly essential to reach the celestial kingdom, why was the practice stopped?


Why has the church changed it's position on gospel doctrine so many times?


Why did Brigham Young repeatedly teach that Adam was God the Father?


Why do most Mormons who talk to me about this issue believe it's either a mistake or something that was taken out of context?


Brigham Young clearly believed and taught that Adam was indeed God the Father. He told people he had revelation on the subject. Why do Mormon Apologists deny this?


Since the church has officially distanced itself from the comments about the Adam/God theory, how do you know what will be true doctrine and what will not?


Bruce R. McConkie claimed that Brigham Young's views about the Adam/God theory were "out of harmony with the gospel," He also bluntly stated, "...anyone who received the temple endowments and who yet believe the Adam/God theory does not deserve to be saved." (BYU devotional 6/1/1980). Does the church believe certain types of people shouldn't be saved?


If anyone who received the temple endowments and still believed the Adam/God theory didn't deserve to be saved, where does that leave Brigham Young?


One prophet teaches that Adam is God, something "which God revealed to him" as well as that his teachings are scripture. When then have another prophet who condemns the doctrine that Adam is God. Finally, we have an apostle who feels that the prophets can be an unreliable source of information. Therefore, he says, we should rely on the scriptures-- which themselves originate from prophets and apostles. How are we supposed to know who to believe and when?


Do you understand how that makes anything hard to believe?


When does one know to believe the prophets and apostles? It seems that it just depends on whom and when?


How can one believe the famous saying, "The prophet will never lead you astray" after Brigham Young led people astray?


Don't you think God would have designed a clearer system than this for receiving his divine messages?


Why has the temple endowment ceremony been changed if it came directly from God Himself?


Why were death oaths once used in the temple ceremony?


Why was it that people of color could not hold the priesthood until 1978?


Why would God not want all of his children to be treated fairly?


Why would God allow certain kinds of people the priesthood and not others?


Many people have mentioned that the Church was about to lose it's tax-exempt status and that is the only reason the prophet suddenly received revelation to allow men of color to hold the priesthood. What is the official reason for the change of heart?


Do you understand why its hard to believe this decision was made purely from revelation?

Why were missionaries taught not to baptize people of color on their missions before 1978?


Do you understand why many people will always consider the Mormon Church to be a racist organization due to the comments and actions of previous prophets and apostles?


Why was it taught that people who were born with dark skin were being punished in this life because of their actions in the pre-existence?


Do you understand why it is extremely offensive to people to judge their character because of your beliefs about them in the pre-existence? How can you judge someone on something that you have no personal recollection of?


Why was it taught that dark skin would turn lighter and more "delightsome" once they learned and accepted the gospel?


Now that we know for certain that skin color has nothing to do with any curse, how can we believe anything else these specific apostles and prophets said? How can we trust anyone who was so horribly and inhumanely wrong?


Why has the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints never officially apologized to people of color for this mistreatment?


Do you feel that the Church should apologize for their mistreatment of African-Americans and other races after the harm and hurt it caused many of them?


In the past it was taught that birth control was "wickedness" (Joseph Fielding Smith) and that if you used birth control "destruction was inevitable" (Joseph Fielding Smith). If these words came from a prophet, why do we now believe different things?


Yet another prophet has it wrong, how can we trust the things they say given this track record?


If temple garments were so important, why has the design for the garments changed over time?


Why wasn't Joseph Smith wearing his temple garments when he was killed?


Originally, the Word of Wisdom asked members not to have alcohol, tobacco, hot drinks, the use of wine only with communion, and meat only in the winter. How did that evolve into the no coffee/tea/alcohol/tobacco Word of Wisdom we have today?


If the word of Wisdom is so important, why did Joseph Smith have alcohol with him in Carthage Jail? It was not intended for communion. (History of the Church, vol. 7 p. 101)


If the word of wisdom was intended to teach Mormons not to have hot drinks, why is drinking hot chocolate allowed but not coffee? Is it the caffeine? If caffeine is the issue, why do many Mormons drink Mountain Dew or other caffeinated soft drinks?


Why were many of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon later quoted as saying that they saw the golden plates through "the eyes of faith?"
If church leaders think this isn't an issue, why isn't it discussed openly and honestly?


Why isn't this information shared with investigators?


Don't you feel that it is important to be honest with people that are deciding if the Mormon Church is for them?


Shouldn't everything be out in the open before someone is baptized? Isn't that fair and moral?


Why are items mentioned in the Book of Mormon not in the Americas at the time (Pre-Colombian)? None of these items have been discovered or verified in any ancient American archeological expedition or historical investigation in the last 200 years?

Silk (Alma 1:29)
Chariots (Alma 18:9)
Seven Day Week (Mosiah 13:18)
Cimeters (old world two-handed steel blade) (Mosiah 9:16 and other verses)
Land kept from the knowledge of "Other Nations" (2 Nephi 1:18)
Bellows (1 Nephi 17:11)
Brass and Iron (2 Nephi 5:15)
Breast plates and Copper (Mosiah 8:10)
Gold and Silver Currency (Alma 11)
Silver (Jarom 1:18)
Steel Swords (Esther 7:9, 2 Nephi 5:14)
Cattle, oxen, donkeys, horses, goats, and wild goats (1 Nephi 18:25)
Sheep, Swine, and elephants (Esther 7:9 and 2 Nephi 5:14)
Plow agriculture such as barley (Alma 11:7) and wheat (Mosiah 9:9)
Absence of foods known to ancient America such as chocolate, lima beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.

Do you understand why its so hard for people to believe the Book of Mormon as true historical record with all of these problems?


Why are women not allowed to hold the priesthood?


If the color of skin (to hold the priesthood) is no longer an issue, why is gender an issue?


Why does gender determine so much in the Mormon Church?


Why are women basically groomed from a young age (I speak from experience) to be wives and mothers?


What happens when a Mormon woman decides she doesn't want to be a wife or mother and instead focus on a career or education?


What would you say to a young woman who didn't want to be a wife and mother?


How does anyone know what God wants for someone else?


Why are women only allowed to occupy subordinate roles to make priesthood holders?


If women are only allowed to serve under male priesthood roles, how is there any equality?


Why are women who raise their voices about this inequality receive disciplinary action?

Maxine Hanks, excommunicated, editor of "Woman and Authority: Reemerging Mormon Fundamentalism."
Deborah Lake, excommunicated, author of "Secret Ceremonies."
Lavina Fielding Anderson, excommunicated, collected stories of people (mainly women) who have been abused by the Mormon system. Edited the book, "Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective."

Is it the Church's position to say that one person has more power, control, and responsibility based on gender?


Why are women supposed to tell their husbands their temple names, but men are told to keep their temple name from their wives?


What is the purpose of the temple name?


Why must we have a new/different name in heaven?


Shouldn't God know who we are without secret handshakes and secret names?


Do you understand why many feel that women are second class citizens in the church?


Why was I told multiple times that my life wouldn't be as fulfilling if I didn't marry a return missionary and raise my kids in the church?


How would anyone know what would make my life, and others, more fulfilling?


Does the church know what will and will not be fulfilling to women?


Why can't a women bless her own child?


Why is it that women don't get to make any decisions about church wealth?


Do you think its fair and equal to not give women equal say in how this money is spent?


Can you understand that this inequality is an extremely valid reason to leave the church?

the poster amusick added these:

Why is the church so patriarchal, when it is clear that patriarchal societies foster abuse of women and children? Why do women have no clear voice in the church, especially in the upper echelons? Why do church courts have no female representatives in them, even when females are being judged?

Why did the church actively oppose the ERA and the marriage amendment, when it is supposed to not be a political institution, and becoming politically involved could jeopardize its tax exempt status? Why did it try to cover up this opposition?

What about the Greek Psaltery?

Why after 200 years is there still no archaeological record of any BOM peoples? Why is the genetic evidence so compellingly against the BOM peoples being descended from Israelite peoples?

Why is the temple ceremony so close to the masonic ceremonies JS participated in prior to his starting up temple ceremonies? And why have they been changed so much?

Why are women still subjugated in the temple ceremony? They have to veil, and be responsible to their husbands, not to the Lord.

Why does the church talk about JS so much, and neglects Jesus Christ so much (count the references to JS in any General Conference, and compare them with references to Jesus Christ)?

Why does the church feel it is acceptable to Christ's teachings to spend $2B on a mall, when so many of its own members are unable to feed their families?


8 comments:

Rem said...

Those are excellent questions but how do we know how accurate those historical entries are? It seems that most thing against the LDS Church are based on the past and not in the present. I do know that their position is stranger in regards to the FLDS when in comparison to their urging legislators in Utah to go easy on illegal immigrants when BOTH are breaking the law and violating articles 12th of the Articles Of Faith. Obviously, there is a lot of interest and benefits in Mexico and none from the FLDS gang. Yet, both groups still have humans beings who need the same level of compassion. As for what happened in the past, I think it's foolish to judge a Church today by what may have happened over 100 years ago.

Zelph said...

REM-

I believe the point is that the current church TODAY, the CURRENT leadership of the church continues to "white-wash" church history. I believe that at best the current church leadership is not being honest in their dealings with their fellow members.

So the question isn't why Joseph Smith used a seer stone to translate the BoM, the question is why aren't the members taught a historically accurate account of how the BoM was translated.

The question is why is the church essentially re-writing history to make the story more faith promoting and sound more believable, and isn't that essentially deceiving.

Nefi said...

they do teach us that, I known that for years and years.

I don't understand your comments, the fact that you did not know does not mean that the church does not teach it.

and weather it was looking int the blackness of a hat or closing your eyes that help you concentrate does not make or break a prophet.

If we can not trust the personal revaluation when we KNOW is from God, what can we trust?

http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=b6a8aeca0ea6b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

Anonymous said...

Nephi - The link you give only answers one question. but even that one isn't all that important -the lds chuch is based on the BoM, prophets and revelation - but none of them mean anything if the source is not reliable and, with the information given, Joseph Smith does not appear reliable. The mormon chuch does not stand up to reason - I'm sorry - but it just doesn't.

Sydney said...

Wow, I am honored that my questions made it to your blog. Thanks for sharing them! That rocks.

The questions originated from my new bishop stopping by my apartment unannounced 3 times. I decided that I would actually open the door and have a face-to-face conversation with him about the issues I had.

I had a conversation with my mother's bishop, and he seemed to have the attitude of, "Come here little child... I will answer away these silly questions for you." I wanted to be able to have everything ready if and when my new bishie showed.

He never did.

I have the questions ready if he stops by again ;)

Anonymous said...

The things which take faith to believe in cannot be proven through scientific methods. Those who have left the church prove there are still "tares among the wheat." We aren't ready for deeper answers (which would explain your questions-but you probably wouldn't be satisfied even then). What matters is faith.

God runs His Church through imperfect men; therefore, things are going to be said that are not always true even over the pulpit, even from God's mouthpiece. The men called as prophet, seers and revelators are only such when they speak through the spirit. This doesn't always happen. Even during General Conference. It doesn't mean they're wrong. Everything you profess isn't true.
And the reason why people aren't given everything all at once is you must develop your testimony line upon line precept upon precept if you skip steps then you will get snagged up on something completely irrelevant. Just like you did. It's no wonder you lost your faith. You wanted more than you were ready for and you've dug your own grave. I pray for you.

Mom said...

Faith has to be based on truth. If the church is built on a foundation of deceit and deception, and continues to cover up those things even now, how can it be the church of the One who referred to himself as "the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life"?

Shan said...

Why would you want to ask the church leadership these questions when the counsel is to ask God through prayer to gain a testimony of the truthfulness of it for yourself? Moroni 10:4