Bonus: “The Boise Rescue” – Elder Oaks and Richard Turley Speak in Boise on June 13th, 2015

OaksTurleyBelow you will find an audio recording of a meeting held June 13th, 2015 — which some are calling the “Boise Rescue.”  During this three-stake meeting in Boise, Idaho, Elder Dallin H Oaks and Richard E Turley Jr. spoke to LDS Church members about the dangers of apostasy, and of following “false prophets.”

As a bit of background, there have been recent reports of several LDS church members in Boise, Idaho apostatizing from the LDS Church due to their holding of beliefs similar to those of recently excommunicated Denver Snuffer and Rock Waterman.  The basic thrust of these beliefs is that Joseph Smith was, indeed, a prophet of God, but that the modern LDS Church has strayed from the teachings found in the Book of Mormon and in the Doctrine and Covenants.  It is presumed that Elder Oaks is referring to Denver Snuffer and Rock Waterman as false prophets in his Boise talk, although the LDS Church denies any connection.  See KUTV’s June 17th, 2015 story here for more details on the denial, featuring Denver Snuffer himself.

The “Rescue” label comes from an initiative launched by the LDS Church in Sweden in 201o called the “Swedish Rescue,” wherein they sent Elder Marlin K. Jensen and church historian Richard Turley to Sweden to attempt to stem the tide of Swedish LDS church members leaving the church over historical issues (led in part by former LDS Area Authority Hans Mattsson).

The original source of the audio from the Boise meeting can be found here and here.

An analysis on the New Order Mormon site by an attendee can be found here.

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  1. David Macfarlane

    A synopsis: Appeal to authority, fear-mongering mention of Satan, appeal to authority, circular reasoning, historically questionable statement, appeal to authority, divisive semantic trick redefining the words “question” and “apostasy” in church terms, general slander of those with questions as false prophets, fear mongering again, non sequitur, appeal to authority, fear mongering, appeal to authority, amen.

    1. The questions they addressed at the end were not the hot topic questions being talked about at all. They are just side stepping those issues and bringing up questions that don’ really hold any importance. While brother Turley is pointing out how poor Joseph’s writing skills are by pointing to the 1832 journal, he ought to also point out how flowery and fluent his letters were to Emma.

      Also stop lying about the B of M being dictated in 90 days. We all know it was over a year period. George Lucas wrote and incredibly complex series of stories about good vs. evil with many characters, plots and threads called Star Wars. That doesn’t make it scripture.

      Those members who have already left the church or gone inactive will find this offensive and full of lies. Those members who are on the fence with serious questions about church history will see through the lies and continue on their journey of finding the truth. Those members who just have some doubts will be herded back into the pen like the sheep they are. It is not an easy thing to convince a sheep that he/she is not a sheep. You must mentally pull away the wool to realize you are not a sheep at all.

    2. Oaks is such a total disappointment. I frankly grew up believing the apostles were wise, but every time they open their mouths outside of the protective bubble of conference…they reveal themselves as out of touch, living in a bubble, crappy administrators.
      My Lord Oaks, next time have some self-respect and put together a better presentation.
      Man you just suck. Its so obvious God said “amen” to your priesthood years ago.
      Hey Oaks, go listen to Denver Snuffer’s speeches on you-tube. maybe you could get a few pointers to how a man of God acts.

    3. Brad Robertson

      The comments on this website are very one-sided. They almost universally attack the speakers and the church in a snarky way. They have something else in common. They all appeal to their own powers of reasoning. What does the LDS church sponsor that is so worthy of vitriol? Is it the global and local humanitarian efforts? Is it that the commandments of God are taught with an expectation of obedience? I think this may be the real source of anger. We humans are pretty proud of ourselves. We don’t need anyone telling us what we are doing is displeasing to our extreme superior (our Father in Heaven). Debate, contrary to popular opinion, doesn’t lead to truth. In debate pride is at work and the two sides want to win the contest more than discover transcending truths. I don’t know the answers to all gospel questions at the moment. I hope to understand everything someday. I do know what is good and evil. Honest seeking of truth and humility is good, and blinding pride is evil. I know that everything I have been aware of that is taught in the LDS church in my 54 years as an active member leads me to be a better person. I know much more about the church that convinces me it is God’s work. Little “gotcha” arguments aren’t going to change that.

      1. “Everything that is taught in the LDS church leads you to be a better person?” This feels quite one-sided and out of touch. My perspective is that people say ignorant things frequently in church that actually throw us off in our progress, not to help us be better. For example, we succumb to the thing that Niche was concerned about, namely of religion being the opium of the masses. If we understood our religion better, we would apply all our might, mind, and strength to solving issues, including in our own church. I agree that there is one-sidedness within this thread, but there are also some good and real observations about the problem with this presentation.

      2. David Macfarlane

        Yes, I think this particular episode got under some people’s skin. I will concede fully to snark and sarcasm, and to lending nothing to a measured, thoughtful conversation. I speak for myself (I suspect others feel the same) when I say I am angry and frustrated at the apparent refusal to answer heartfelt, honest questions–pleas, really, for help–with misdirection and obfuscation. The response of the church to questions about historicity and legitimacy is basically to say, “the church is true because it is.” That’s simply not an answer. Look, if you’re happy in the church and it makes you a better person then stay and be happy. I am angry because the church tells a creation story that is flat out untrue, which makes me question every jot and tittle that has emanated from supposed prophets and seers. These are not semantic “gotcha” questions for most people; they are agonizing attempts to cling to the walls when the floor has completely collapsed. While many comments probably offend you, try to see the need and confusion that lie underneath.

      3. “The comments on this website are very one-sided.” Of course, as they are on most LDS sites.

        It is one sided in the LDS church as well. In fact, that is why the LDS church excommunicates “apostates” is to attempt to discredit them and make the discourse completely one sided from church leaders.

        “They almost universally attack the speakers and the church in a snarky way.”

        Snark or not, there is truth in much of it.

        “They all appeal to their own powers of reasoning.”

        I would argue that all human beings make all truth determination through their power of reasoning and nothing else. It is our God given powers of reasoning.

        “What does the LDS church sponsor that is so worthy of vitriol?”

        If the LDS church leaders are not exactly what they proclaim which is “prophets” who communicate directly with God on our behalf, then they are lying and deceiving. Those who do not believe they actually directly communicate with God are going to believe they are liars and deceivers and that is going to make people mad. I am one of them. I believe every conference the LDS prophet gets up and speaks and does not admit he has no more communication with God than any other person through personal inspiration and feelings, he is lying by omission and a clear being deceptive.

        “Is it that the commandments of God are taught with an expectation of obedience? I think this may be the real source of anger. ”

        This is what most active Mormons believe and it is completely false. See John Dehlins Top reasons for leaving the LDS church

        “We humans are pretty proud of ourselves. We don’t need anyone telling us what we are doing is displeasing to our extreme superior (our Father in Heaven). ”

        Nobody here is talking about what God wants us to do. They are saying that other fallible men are either mistaken or lying about what God wants us to do.

        “Honest seeking of truth and humility is good, and blinding pride is evil.”

        If you truly believe this then this website should not bother you in the least. The LDS church does not follow this. In fact, the only reason they excommunicate so called “apostates” is to protect other members or in other words not let them hear the non faith affirming facts. The LDS church wants to continue to lie to their members and discredit those that disagree with them.

        “I know that everything I have been aware of that is taught in the LDS church in my 54 years as an active member leads me to be a better person. ”

        This is most definitely not true from what I have seen and experienced. I could list hundreds of completely immoral practices of the LDS church and how they hurt people severely. Some of these practices were even considered doctrine. The worst thing about this is the LDS church attributes these immoral practices to a perfect God, which is completely Ludacris. A perfect God does not command or do imperfect things. I know the first time I decided to examine each of the doctrines, practices and policies of the LDS church, one by one and ask one question about them “would a perfect God really ask or command that of us?” It was eye opening to me.

        ” Little “gotcha” arguments aren’t going to change that.”

        Nobody here is trying to convince you to leave the LDS church with “gotcha” arguments. Nobody cares whether you stay in the church or not. That is not why people comment here. If it makes you happy, continue in it. It definitely has nothing to do with a perfect God, though. It is 100% teachings of man.

        1. You seem to be saying that since the church is one sided it’s OK for us to be one sided. That makes us no better and no more worth listening to than them.

          1. What I am saying is that to some extent it can’t be helped as people with similar thoughts will congregate, but the LDS church takes it too far by banning comments and excommunicating those who disagree which becomes deception and lies. I think both sides are “worth” listening to when “investigating” the truth claims of the LDS church.

        2. 100% agree with your reply. I wish I could articulate as you did. People have no idea how hurtful it is to leave the church after finding out about the deceipt and falsehood of the LDS Church. I am still going through a hard time – I am a Chinese from Hong Kong but am living in Australia, left the church a few years ago after being a LDS for more than 30 years, raised 2 boys as a single parent after a bitter divorce, now my relationship with my older son is impacted by my leaving the church. I just feel so alone in my pain and lost my trust in human nature. How can I not be angry and hurt? I feel outranged and sick when I think of how I struggled trying to pay tithing to the LDS Church as an unemployed single mum.

          1. Kathryn Krieger

            If you believe in the bible at all (regardless if LDS affiliation) you can see that tithing is commanded. As well as many other hard things (hard only to those who dont joyfully accept and strive for)- but of course life is harder after leaving the fold of the arms of Christ. He wants you back and you have fallen pray to false prophets (maybe just before tribulation). Come back to Christ by accepting his Church on earth. I promise your pain will turn to joy. No human is perfect and even our Prophets fall in this catagory, but that doesnt make the message any less true.
            Love, katie

  2. Here is another example of church leaders programming members “what” to think, instead of teaching them “how” to think.

  3. I’m a former apostate and sinner. I once believed in these so called apostates but I have decided to suspend disbelief and turn off my mind to so called history. What is history anyway? It is so distorted and convoluted that we cannot believe it unless those in authority tell us how to describe and define it. Thank you Elder Oakes for setting us straight. I hereby turn over my thinking to the church and you.

    Now I know that I must live in the world. So, I will be wise when it comes to the world but I will suspend worldly thinking when I am doing my church callings and attending my required meetings.

    P.S. Please tell me how to think at all times. I know I said that I would be wise when I was in the world but its too scary.

    1. Exactly Jim. How grateful I am not to have to think for myself. And how thankful there is no shortage of lawyers willing to give up their practice to work for the church. At least we don’t have to rely on fishermen and tax collectors. We have Nauvoo descendants to think for us now.

  4. My takeaways:

    1. Doubting is no longer acceptable, only “faithful” questioning (therefore they should not be expected to address difficult issues directly)
    2. The ultimate test of faithfulness is submission to church leaders. Any question that puts them in a negative light is a doubt, and evidence of the questioners’ disobedience, lack of faith, and movement towards apostasy.
    3. They are happy to create the ambiguous impression that many have seen Christ, but explained why none of them will ever claim so publicly (I.e. “We are actually prophets but technology makes it impossible to control the message so we just can’t tell you about it…you just have to follow us blindly)

    My conclusion: Rock Waterman has had a significant impact!

    What a sad and convoluted attempt at keeping the faithful from being open to honest inquiry and learning.

    1. I find it especially telling that when Oaks spoke of whether or not he saw God, he said that he would not speak of it… he would not cast pearls before swine. He just called all of those devoted listeners, sitting at his knee… SWINE!
      I think that would be a significant proof of his general disdain for the members… as a follow up to his genuinely callous, “we do not apologize” comment.

      1. Yes, or Oaks’s position is … well, how might I say this? … an attempt to not take the Lord’s name in vain? At least not explicitly?

        Perhaps it is simply better for him to say nothing than to say something false … well, at most slightly better.

    1. Miriam is my temple name

      Glad you know that gods love in unfailing. Most gay people who leave the lds church don’t know that

    2. Sunstoned Mormon

      The Church doesn’t hate you, it just doesn’t know what to do with you and wishes you would go away. I don’t think Jesus agrees with that approach. Maybe someday he will have a talk with our PSR about it. One can hope, anyway.

    3. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not hate you nor does it hate any person who is gay or believes in homosexuality..etc. You are right in the fact that God loves you. He does, but i am sure that he is disappointed in your some of your decisions, especially with the one to be Gay. Homosexuality is a choice, not a characteristic created randomly by DNA at birth (Which some people believe). So in life you choose the choices you make. And God has clearly talked about the consequences of choosing sin in the Bible, homosexuality being one of those sins. Try reading Leviticus 18:22, one of the many. The choice of what you do next after reading this is now yours….

      1. Do you really think that an entity like God discriminates according to sexual orientation or cares about any person’s sex lives at all? The idea that God is disappointed in Rose’s decision to “be gay” is just silly. Even if homosexuality was a choice that Rose made, any God worth following wouldn’t judge her for it. I cannot imagine a God that is so petty.

        Another thing, let’s not conflate the idea of immutability and genetic heredity, they need to be studied independently. In the biological study of humans scientists are almost always forced to rely on statistical studies and as such it is impossible to prove almost anything about specific genes being linked to specific traits. Even if it was possible to do so genes are not always that deterministic. In order to prove anything in biology requires controlled manipulation of the organism that is being studied or what are called natural experiments in which nature provides interesting case studies often at the expense of the health of individuals. Because it is unethical to experiment on humans we will never know with perfect certainty if there is a “gay gene”. Having said that, there is good statistical evidence to suggest that there might be a complex genetic component to homosexuality. See Dr. Hamer’s studies and the most recent replication with a larger sample size in 2014. These studies are sufficiently convincing to suggest to me that there may be a gene that promotes homosexuality.

        So, that settles heritability, but what about immutability? Unfortunately the ethical restrictions that keep us from determining the exact nature of any gene for sexuality have not always been upheld in regards to studying the immutability of sexuality and many people have been subjected to horrific experiments in an attempt to change their sexual orientation. In the words of Dr. Bine, a researcher who has studied sexuality:

        “No one who has spoken in depth with a number of homosexuals could conclude that they. . . choose their orientation. Moreover, a survey of the literature on attempts to change sexual orientation leads inevitably to the same conclusion. Very few of even the most highly motivated to change sexual orientation have been able to do so despite investing tremendous emotional effort, many years, and many thousands of dollars in psychotherapy. In fact, the legitimate literature on attempts to redirect sexual orientation suggests that not only is sexual orientation not chosen, it is, by and large, immutable.”

        Finally, I want to address the distinction that is always made between hating the sin and the sinner. This idea may sound fine theoretically to some people, but it makes no practical sense. The practice of hating a person’s sins does harm to the individual and never the sin. You cannot hurt a sin’s feelings, make it feel guilty, or convince it to change its ways. The so-called sinners are the ones who feel the consequences of hate even if it is directed toward sins and not individuals.

        Sorry for the long post TL;DR version: Of course God loves you for exactly who you are Rose.

      2. Kathryn Krieger

        I concur but without the harshness of characterization of homosexuality as ‘a choice’ – this is by no means a conscious choice by anyone but rather an outcome perhaps by events or images seen by the person in their early childhood. Its not a choice in the way this comment characterizes it. That said, I do not wish this on anyone and cannot speak to what it must feel like to realize that in order to follow Christ and be a part of His Church we must follow along a life of celibacy and lack of romantic love unless we can somehow recondition our minds to accept the opposite sex as attractive (which for some, is simply not possible and not an easy to find therapy)- For this reason, most member of the church open their hearts and arms to those who struggle with same sex attraction and we love them, befriend them and accept them on their path.

      3. Oh my god!!! Who ARE you to be sure if God is disappointed with anyone????
        How about you and your narrow minded arrogant but ignorant people and church leave the homosexual people alone. You and those who think there’s something wrong with guys are the one that need help. BUT of course you don’t know that! SMH.

    4. Rose Harris, you don’t need that institution to love/ hate or anything about you. It’s led by a group of corrupted old men that sell spirituality for money. They get gain by instill shame and fear in people as an invisible bondage. You don’t need that.
      We are all creation of God. We all have that divinity inside of us. We are all loved and worthy of love.
      Love yourself, embrace who you are. Look in the mirror and tell that awesome person everyday morning and every night “I love you”.
      Get the book “ask and it is given” by Esther Hicks. It will open to you an entirely different perspective on life, the Universe and our inner beings that is beyond religions.

  5. At one point (1:1:25)Oaks says: “Another claim we sometimes hear is that the leaders won’t answer our doubts. Doubts: here we need to define the difference between doubts and questions. Questions when asked with a sincere desire to increase one’s understanding and faith are to be encouraged. Such questions, we call them, are asked with a real intent of better understanding and more fully obeying the will of the Lord.” Turley adds: “Questions are very different from doubts. One difference between questions asked in faith and doubts is that questions lead to faith and to revelation whereas doubts lead to disobedience which, in turn, renders people less able to receive revelation. Or, in other words, doubt is darkness. Questions lead to faith.”

    Do church authorities answer questions from members who are perplexed by what they’ve been taught in the church and what they learn about actual church history that cause them to be skeptical and distrust what they’ve been taught? No; one is supposed to have faith that what the authorities teach is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The real message is OBEY us or else…

    1. Your conclusion is roughly correct, but put in a doubtful tone. Obtaining understanding can be a tricky undertaking. One must look at and apply the whole big picture that the principles in the gospel paint. We are initially in the dark and truth is hidden from us. Verbally explaining the truth is not the method. Training us to learn by the Spirit is the priority. That comes by obedience. In my life, this is time tested, as I have been on both sides. The Psalmist declared that he understood more than the ancients because he kept the precepts of God, aka: Obedience. I would be very concerned of those who did not emphasize the necessity of obedience.

      Turley gave us the best test. Do we feel peace, are we happy as results of the choices we have made?

      1. Okay wooley, but there are many that learn to live “by the Spirit” but the “Spirit” teaches many things, often contradictory depending on which religion to which you hold your allegiance. And for some the “Spirit” seems not to teach anything.

        Is it obedience to God, or obedience to men claiming to speak for God, that you hold so tightly to? Look at the history of priestcraft over the ages and you will find that claims to special connection to Deity is the stock and trade of conspiring men who use their priestly connection for power and gain. In that regard, Joseph Smith was nothing new, and neither are these modern priest crafting power brokers.

        By Turley’s test I a much happier than I was before. And, I buy none of this mystical nonsense that they are serving up.

        1. Compare the list below to all aspects of the LDS corporation doctrine, teachings and practices. Author Steven Hassan, Mentalh health professional and expert in Cult behavior, ex cult member of the moonies. He was never a ex Mormon. The real reason for this is $$$ many are seeing they have been exploited mislead, defrauded, manipulated, used and deceived by the LDS church. The guru’s talks made me frightened for you members and your future. This was very charged fear indoctrination. They attempt to install “black & white” thinking, “US vs.THEM” mindset, Your either on OUR side “then claiming ownership of Jesus” or the Enemies side. These Guru’s utilize the methods and tactics below. Just get away from them, life is short. They are fighting over YOU with some other self proclaimed guru named snuffer or whatever. Run Run Run. Use your critical thinking skills. Many people believe in Jesus, Follow the teachings of Jesus, and are on the Lord’s side, and NOT on the side of the LDS church.!! It’s just getting so ridiculous.
          Good luck ! Great comments by the way. Thought this would help someone.

          Behavior Control

          1. Regulate individual’s physical reality
          2. Dictate where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates or isolates
          3. When, how and with whom the member has sex
          4. Control types of clothing, hairstyles
          5. Regulate diet – food and drink, hunger and/or fasting
          6. Manipulation and deprivation of sleep
          7. Financial exploitation, manipulation or dependence
          8. Restrict leisure, entertainment, vacation time
          9. Major time spent with group indoctrination and rituals and/or self indoctrination including the Internet
          10. Permission required for major decisions
          11. Thoughts, feelings, and activities (of self and others) reported to superiors
          12. Rewards and punishments used to modify behaviors, both positive and negative
          13. Discourage individualism, encourage group-think
          14. Impose rigid rules and regulations
          15. Instill dependency and obedience

          Information Control

          1. Deception:
          a. Deliberately withhold information
          b. Distort information to make it more acceptable
          c. Systematically lie to the cult member
          2. Minimize or discourage access to non-cult sources of information, including:
          a. Internet, TV, radio, books, articles, newspapers, magazines, other media
          b.Critical information
          c. Former members
          d. Keep members busy so they don’t have time to think and investigate
          e. Control through cell phone with texting, calls, internet tracking
          3. Compartmentalize information into Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
          a. Ensure that information is not freely accessible
          b.Control information at different levels and missions within group
          c. Allow only leadership to decide who needs to know what and when
          4. Encourage spying on other members
          a. Impose a buddy system to monitor and control member
          b.Report deviant thoughts, feelings and actions to leadership
          c. Ensure that individual behavior is monitored by group
          5. Extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda, including:
          a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audiotapes, videotapes, YouTube, movies and other media
          b.Misquoting statements or using them out of context from non-cult sources
          6. Unethical use of confession
          a. Information about sins used to disrupt and/or dissolve identity boundaries
          b. Withholding forgiveness or absolution
          c. Manipulation of memory, possible false memories
          hought Control

          1. Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
          a. Adopting the group’s ‘map of reality’ as reality
          b. Instill black and white thinking
          c. Decide between good vs. evil
          d. Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)
          2.Change person’s name and identity
          3. Use of loaded language and clichés which constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzz words
          4. Encourage only ‘good and proper’ thoughts
          5. Hypnotic techniques are used to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking and even to age regress the member
          6. Memories are manipulated and false memories are created
          7. Teaching thought-stopping techniques which shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts, including:
          a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
          b. Chanting
          c. Meditating
          d. Praying
          e. Speaking in tongues
          f. Singing or humming
          8. Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
          9. Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy allowed
          10. Labeling alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful
          Emotional Control

          1. Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings – some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong or selfish
          2. Teach emotion-stopping techniques to block feelings of homesickness, anger, doubt
          3. Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault
          4. Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as
          a. Identity guilt
          b. You are not living up to your potential
          c. Your family is deficient
          d. Your past is suspect
          e. Your affiliations are unwise
          f. Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
          g. Social guilt
          h. Historical guilt
          5. Instill fear, such as fear of:
          a. Thinking independently
          b. The outside world
          c. Enemies
          d. Losing one’s salvation
          e. Leaving or being shunned by the group
          f. Other’s disapproval
          6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows – love bombing and praise one moment and then declaring you are horrible sinner
          7. Ritualistic and sometimes public confession of sins
          8. Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leader’s authority
          a. No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
          b. Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc.
          c. Shunning of those who leave; fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family
          d. Never a legitimate reason to leave; those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll
          e. Threats of harm to ex-member and family

    2. For a lavish life style that is built from members’ income, they did quite a poor job of responding to the intelligent members.

  6. Unreal! I’ll break this down very fast so please excuse my spelling errors
    1st: Focus on the GREAT and PERFECT joseph smith and NOT the King our Lord Jesus Christ.
    2nd: Place doubt on the Bible and its Holy Word and then Focus on the garden.
    1 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV)
    18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
    3rd: Eloquently and unknowingly they describe THEMSELVES as the very False Prophets Jesus spoke of, using the very Holy Bible only AFTER placing doubt on it. That’s logical!
    4th: Refocuse on smith and his perfectness. Question, is he still a MARTYR in Idaho?
    5th: Draw pity for poor Joseph. He was just a dumb hick farm boy unlearned and far to stupid, I mean he could bearly tie his own shoes, RIGHT. In no way could he have ever pull off any CON or Fraud!
    6th: Examine Joseph’s fruits. Yes let’s do that. His life of LYING?ADULTERY? FRAUD? DECEIVING? STEALING other men’s wives, land by deceit, FALSE PROPHESY, marrying young girls under threat of distruction and death , even his own death, False bank fraud, on and on and on and on!
    Yes please, examine the fruits of Joseph Smith and his life for yourself.
    Either it’s Jesus or Joseph people!
    Didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 24:35 (KJV)
    35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall NOT pass away” New heaven, new earth NO NEW WORDS UNTIL THEN. So did Jesus Lie? Did His words passed away or did Joseph lie? Did Jesus Christ need his word restored. Isn’t so interesting the cults must always attack and place doubt on the Holy Bible in order to then gain authority, money, power, control over man. I think the corporation is very scared of lossing its members because they have made filthy $$ of them. They do have a billion dollar business to run, right LDS members . You leave, they lose your $$, your Praise, your worship, and the high seats in the worship place.wink wink. It’s like the blind leading the blind.
    Certainly if you believe in God it would be logical to believe that God has the power to preserve the ONLY testimony of His ONLY begotten Son Jesus Christ against little O’ man.
    I choose to believe the Bible because it’s a reliable collection of historical documents written by eye witnesses during the lifetime of other eye witnesses. They report supernatural events in fulfillment of specific prophesies and claim thier writtings are divine rather than human in origin. Written by over 40 Authors in three different languages Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek on three different continent’s Asia, Africa and Europe. Over a time period of 1500 year’s. Resulting in a literary symphony. Over 25K archeological digs have confirmed the reliability of the Bible . We have over 5k + ancient documents and portions of documents proving its authenticity and authority. Someone please show me the gold plates, Mormon lands, anything at ALL Mormon.
    Google it and prove me WRONG!
    FYI-Gospel Means Good News.
    I heard absolutely no message of Jesus or Salvation. LDS members ONLY Jesus Christ saves NOT Joseph Smith or Mr. Oaks. PEOPLE Flee from these wolves to the freedom and the liberty in the Cross of Christ! If not stay bound in chain’s. At least you got to hear a few lame jokes and some disconcerning dividing speak. How many LDS family’s will suffer from this lds doctrine of death?? I feel so sad for you. My advice is read the bible for your self, fear not the wolves and believe in the words of Jesus Christ. Times are changing people. One more thing I see lots of shunning going on in families. I now know why with this ugly message of division. Christians love all people accept all people we give the gospel, regardless if its accepted or rejected we love you and respect your choice. We all bare the image of God and we love you no matter what happens. Mormons are a twisted bunch, wow.

    1. I have yet to listen to the recording, but I feel your comment seems to be as though you haven’t listened to it either (I may have to edit this if I come to find that Dallin Oaks and Richard Turley are praising and worshiping Smith).

      There are individuals who are seeking nothing but Jesus Christ. They are in shock and dismay at the “Follow the Prophet” mantra that is being spewed and how the words of Joseph Smith are being used to nail down that mantra as the all saving truth. Joseph Smith never suggested that a man worship him. He said he was fallible and a sinner and that men ought to hunger and thirst after righteousness until they arrive at the point where Christ would minister to them in the flesh.

      I am sad to say that I hear less and less of Jesus in sermons and in Church. However, Mormonism has not always been this way. There is a beauty in the theology — the real theology — and it does bring individuals into the arms of their Redeemer.

      (P.s. I am confused by how you ended your comment. At first you say that Christians love _all_ people … no matter what happens … but then you cast a stone at Mormons by saying they’re a twisted bunch. Which is it? Do you love all people, Mormons included, or are Mormons too twisted to be loved and accepted?)

  7. This is the same old song and dance: Satan is behind all doubts and apostasy. Hold onto the Iron Rod, keep the commandments, obey and follow your church leaders, they know what’s best for you, when you apostacise you are on Satan’s side, etc. Elder Oaks made the assumption that modern day prophets see Jesus. They totally avoided the real issues that is really causing the mass exodus of members leaving.

  8. Educated criminals work within the law

    Mr. Turley: Red tie…of course. Richard EYRING Turley…of course. Lawyer (no formal training in history)…of course. Wikipedia page is more like his resume…of course. Loves to talk about how he has traveled all over the world for the church…of course. Loves to drop his law review work, church callings…of course. I am listening to this guy and it makes me want to write myself out of the Church tomorrow morning. What did he really hope to accomplish with his words?

    This is a big club for special families…funded by the rest of us…and you aint in it.

  9. I was disappointed because I now see another line in the sand. I was so hoping that teachings from the GA would help us with legitiment questions that have been redefined as doubts.

    1. I expect that would be Denver Snuffer. There is a growing movement caused by his ten-lecture circuit which, ironically, began in Boise. (In other word, the first lecture was in Boise.)

  10. Just before the half hour there were comments about Jesus bleeding from every pore. The unstated but assumed logic is that Book of Mormon possess literary independence from the Bible. That is, everything we read in the BOM comes from a independent and different source than the material used by the Gospel writers for example.

    The argument made was that the Book of Mormon affirms that Jesus would bleed from every pore and since some of the biblical manuscripts hold that detail, it must be true and other manuscripts that don’t hold the detail must have had it removed and removed on purpose. This argument fails to appreciate that the detail is an addition and that this can and has been demonstrated through manuscript analysis.

    It is demonstrable that the BOM is literarily dependent upon a number of sources including the Bible and a particular edition of the King James Bible.

    A proper appreciation of the BOM given its own context and history, is to appreciate it as other extra canonical gospels written in the second and later centuries. These gospels remain extra canonical because of their dependence on the gospels and because of their, in a number of examples, Gnostic nature and non orthodox content.

    If the BOM could be shown to be an independent document then it would go some way to moving it into the accepted canon, however, the problems are very great. These problems arise from a complete lack of any evidence for the text and its clear borrowing from 19th century culture.

    It follows that then that these comments made are not a demonstration of independence but of dependence and that the BOM is not what the church purports it to be.

    1. But wait! Turley squeezed in that graduate course in Greek New Testmant textual criticism (while taking his law classes, editing the Law Review, reading, praying, singing and putting four kids to bed every night, and serving many hours a week as elders quorum president.) So he must know whereof he speaketh … Wait, was that at BYU where he took that course? Hmmm

      1. It was interesting how Turley wove the “ain’t I great” statements into his segments. But, it did not make his argument more palatable.

    2. Michael. You make some good points, and the BOM certainly demonstrates Joseph Smith’s understanding as of 1829, which is the earliest date that we are assured of. Richard E. Turley uses Mosiah 3:7 as confirmation, but the footnote gives the date as “about 124 B.C.” Of all the books, records, sermons, and writings in two thousand years of Christian history, the BOM is the only source that gives details of Christ before he was born.

      1. The verses In Luke 22 that Mosiah 3:7 refers to is an interpolation of the mid second century. It is present in the Western Manuscriots generally and absent from the Alexandrian. The bottom line is that if interpolated or redacted material from the Bible is present in the BOM then the BOM is dependent on its source and so is not another witness of Jesus Christ. In this instance the BOM makes a prophetic reference to something That didn’t happen. The reference was inserted as an anti docetic polemic. Please let me know if you would like more information or another example.

      2. Stan, I can’t appreciate your appoint that the BOM demonstrates Joseph Smith’s understanding at 1829. Certainly, as a whole the BOM demonstrates an early 19th century grounding.
        The BOM also demonstrates the prevailing anti-Jewish sentiments in Christian culture of the time. This particularly racist theme gets very little attention from BOM commentators who prefer to reflect on skin colour. We are indebted to E. P Sanders for his work published in the 1970’s which as served to recalibrate our thinking about the portrayal of Jews.
        Joseph Smith also gives us his false understanding of God’s connection to skin colour and God’s curse. I would refer you to Kugel for an interesting discussion on the mark of Cain. While ancient interpreters liked to think of a physical mark the word ‘ot’ translated as sign is better translated as oath or covenant. Thus God promised Cain vengeance should anyone come after him for killing Abel. However, we see Joseph Smith’s understanding was that God’s punishment relates to skin colour in line with popular thought.
        The text taken from Luke 22 does not reflect any understanding at all on the part of Joseph Smith and so I can’t appreciate your comment. The context of the BOM usage is in a sermon. The BOM consists of major sermons and war stories. These are Christian themed sermons that Joseph Smith related based on his experience in attending camp meetings or on his own experience in delivering sermons. What has happened here is that Joseph Smith has taken material from the Bible and incorporated it into a sermon. Thus, the BOM does not speak about future events, but is dependent on source material.
        I know this is getting long, but you fail to understand, and I want to be clear. The Lucan text is an interpolation of the mid second century generally present in the Western manuscripts and absent from the Alexandrian. The text was introduced as an anti docetic polemic. If you are interested I could refer you to an excellent article on this topic by Ehrman and Plunkett. The point is that since this text is an addition by an unnamed scribe, the event itself never happened, or was never part of the original text. This means that the BOM is literarily dependent on the Bible and cannot therefore be another testament of Jesus Christ.
        I think it would be useful to also understand that Turley was not honest, either deliberately or ignorantly. However, given that Oaks said they had spent months in preparing their presentation, his deceptive manipulation must have been deliberate. Turley refers to thousands of New Testament Manuscripts of which only a few don’t have these verses. There are actually very few materials, certainly not thousands to which we can refer and examine this text. They are (Ehrman and Plunkett):

        Please let me know if you have any further questions or would like more information on this or other questions of BOM dependence.
        Please keep in mind that when the BOM quotes the Bible, this is a problem and not a demonstration of independent testimony that allows its subtitle to be valid.

      3. Stan, on your second point that the BOM is the only source that gives details of Jesus before his was born is mistaken. I have written on Jesus with reference to the Old Testament in the last year. I have therefore written in the last 2,000 years of Jesus in a pre incarnate way, however, no one uses my writing as prophetic witness to past events as if they are somehow future oriented. I suppose if I put a date of 124 BCE on my work then I would be just scripturally authoritative as the BOM. Please excuse the tone, it is kindly meant.

  11. Elder Oaks quotes D&C 107:23 – “The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” and then says “This is not to witness of a personal manifestation. To witness of the name is to witness of the plan, the work, or mission such as the atonement and the authority or priesthood of the Lord Jesus Christ, which an apostle who holds the keys is uniquely responsible to do. Of course apostles are also witnesses of Christ just like all members of the church who have the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

    1. So, in other words, there’s a legal loophole in the phrasing which enables them to escape the requirement to have actually seen the Lord.

      And apostles are no different than any other member of the Church.

    2. Bill, this really caught my attention when I heard it. I was back on the ward after a surgery I had had earlier in the day and was listening to the podcast. I couldn’t sleep afterwards because I thought that Oaks had just denied the authenticity of the LDS church.

      As a missionary I taught lots of times that the apostles and prophets were the foundation of the church and that the true church today has the same foundation as it is the restored church. What Oaks has said is that the LDS church is a mere copy of the ancient church in that it holds the same titled officer roles. These roles should not be confused with the same attributes as those that existed anciently.

      Ancient apostles were qualified for their role of continuing Jesus’ ministry because they had been with him from the beginning. There were lots to chose from. Of course, these people will have eventually died away, but the New Testament provides us with an Apostolic foundation supported by the episcopal succession of the

      Oaks has gutted Apostolic authority within the LDS church as I understand him and essentially affirmed that the church leadership is a super 15 of members who are taking on the role of witnessing to the name of Christ. His words have significant implication for the truth claims of the LDS church and I hope that commentators will pick up on this.

      1. Yes, my tongue was still stuck in my cheek when I hit “post comment.”

        An appeal to (questionable) personal authority in support of an argument from personal incredulity that avoided every major point of doubt … or, err … question. That’s pretty much all that’s holding up the keystone of this religion

  12. Here is what I’d like the brethren to do. A systematic dissection of the “Letter to CES director”. The best way to silence a critic is to use their own words against them. Christ confounded the Pharisees with their own words. Why didn’t Thomas S Monson, through the power of the Lord, tell Kate Kelly why/how she was misguided and ask her to stop? Why did Thomas S Monson hide behind a glib PR spokesperson (Ally Isom)?
    I feel like the prophet doesn’t prophesy. I’m not sure that I’m aware of anything prophetic that the brethren have done since the death of Joseph Smith. If I’m wrong, please illuminate me. Really.
    I, like many of my friends and family, have simply lost faith in the brethren. In varying degrees, they, like I, see them as about as divinely inspired as the Board of directors of GE. Talented? Yes. Divine? Its unlikely.

    The brethren also warn of us if we fail to be obedient to church authority. Christ asked us to follow him…..

  13. Do general authorities ever take a stand on anything controversial? Why do they only peddle platitudes? Oaks hides behind Turley’s faith promoting history and then orates in generalities about commandments and obedience and covenants but doesn’t witness to anything of useful historical substance. Where’s the beef!

    A jewish apostate named Jesus was physically nailed to a cross… and seriously all I get from this nominal apostle is a story about him being on the wrong side of a cow! What a useless mock of bullshot!

  14. “don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone, they paved paradise put up a parking lot”
    reply if you comprehend the metaphore

    1. I think those are lyrics written by Joni Mitchell. Simply and beautifully put that you often don’t appreciate something until it’s gone. A person’s health would be a good example

    2. Debi Barmonde

      I think your metaphor means that what used to be a beautiful and natural gospel, based on scripture, Christ, personal revelation, and family (“paradise”) has now become an increasingly corporate bureaucracy of lines in the sand and conformity (“parking lot”). I grew up in the 60’s in the church and remember the focus on family and friendliness. It was simpler and sweet. But with the advent of the Internet, and finding out about documented truths that had been kept from me, I came to believe that the prophet of the LDS Church were the fallen ones. And now I enjoy peace and spiritual connection without dogma and commandments. I resigned last summer — after having served a mission, being married in the temple, and holding major (for a woman) leadership positions. I’ve never been happier or felt more spiritual and blessed!

  15. Michael Surkan

    I may be an atheist ex-Mormon, but even I don’t think there is any logical reason for the brethren to address “doubts” in a serious way. The reality is that Joseph Smith was a fraud and many of the church’s founding myths just built on quicksand.

    People who realize that are going to leave, and there is nothing that can be done to prevent it, so there is no point in arguing with them. The most logical course to minimize defections as much as possible is to admonish true believers to not have doubts, or explore them.

    I honestly believe most of the brethren follow this advice themselves. They actively refuse to entertain the possibility that their cherished myths about Joseph Smith, et all, might be false.

    What else could the brethren possibly do other than to deny and command people not to doubt if their goal is to staunch the outflow of members? Actually engaging in a REAL conversation about the church’s messy past is only going to make more members aware of the issues and create more doubters.

    1. Robert Horning

      I should note that there are people who are seriously questioning the behavior of “the brethren”, even while still otherwise believers in the restored gospel of Jesus.

      Have some decency and respect for the fact that others have religious beliefs different than your own. I understand that you no longer respect Joseph Smith, but the issue is not revolving around that at all which is causing these people to come up to Boise and make these kind of speeches. It is because some are questioning the huge purge going on right now, and they are doing damage control hoping it doesn’t spread and become a major schism such as happened in the Catholic Church with Martin Luther.

      Frankly, from my point of view, they are only fanning the flames and encouraging that schism to occur sooner and in larger numbers. It could very well be a shattering of the church as profound as happened following the death of Joseph Smith, with as many splinter groups or more.

    2. What else could the brethren possibly do?

      How about grow some balls, and develop some integrity, and follow the course they set for others in doing what is right and let the consequences follow?

      How about being honest with your fellow men? How about not proclaiming themselves God’s to be worshipped, following Jesus’ council where he clearly states that he “employs no servants” at the door of salvation.

      I’m looking at you Holland and Oaks who proclaim we need your magical ‘KEYS’ to get to Heaven.

      God, they don’t realise what a nest of vipers they are!

  16. I noted a couple of items in their discussion that seems off to me. I would appreciate if someone could help me reconcile these items.

    ITEM 1:

    RTS (0:56:15): “One claim that we sometimes hear is that the church is no longer the church that was restored to the earth by the Prophet Joseph. That it fell into apostasy and the priesthood keys were not passed to Brigham Young.”

    DHO (0:56:34): “Answer: Then who held them? If there are no priesthood keys, then the priesthood authority cannot be used upon the earth.”

    I would point out that that’s not really an answer. That’s another question, whose stated conclusion is evidently supposed to be the only possible conclusion and also supposedly leads to a contradiction. Let me come back to this item after discussing another one.

    ITEM 2:

    DHO (1:14:47): “Prophets of God are not perfect but…as the Prophet Joseph Smith said on a great occasion ‘There is no error in the teachings…'”

    DHO (0:55:48): “By theirs fruits… ye shall know them.”

    Here’s where it appears that DHO might be missing the point of Item 1. The fruits of the followers of Brigham Young’s teachings—and those of the presidents immediately following him—were evidently not good fruits. If we’re supposed to look for the fruits in the lives of those who follow their teachings, then we have seen some awful fruits. For example, the fruits of polygamy can hardly be argued as good fruits. The church itself, by its own admission in the Manifesto, was brought to the brink of destruction in large part due to polygamy.

    Yet the statement about no errors in the teachings (at 1:14:47) was made by Joseph Smith, evidently about his own teachings which were necessarily those given while he was alive. Joseph evidently did not make a categorical statement regarding the teachings of all those who would claim leadership of the church in the future. DHO appears to make this broader assumption. But then what of looking to their fruits as a way to discern false teachers? Clearly, this mode of discernment is not nullified for other “prophets” by Joseph’s statements about his own teachings.

    This second item then ties back to the evident problem in the first item above that questions whether Brigham Young was a proper heir to Joseph Smith. If we go by the fruits of BY’s teachings, there are abundant examples of bad fruits–hardly just a fleeting “fruit fly.”

  17. An aside from what I learned at last week’s annual symposium of the Mormon History Association:

    Two of the three authors of the church’s response to renewed interest in Mountain Meadows, Glen Leonard and Ronald Walker, have left the project before publication of the second volume of Massacre at Mountain Meadows. I say the “church’s response” because all are, or have been, on the payroll of church-funded organizations–and because their book is often seen (although they may deny it) as a response to Will Bagley’s Blood of the Prophets.

    That leaves Richard Turley as the remaining author of an upcoming second volume that will examine the aftermath of the massacre. The first volume ends on the day after MMM, except for a recounting of John D. Lee’s execution decades later. While the first volume may, in the authors’ viewpoint, counter Bagley’s assertion that there is strong circumstantial evidence linking Brigham Young to the original rime, an adequate response to Juanita Brook’s charge that Young was an “accessory after the fact” remains to be addressed in the upcoming second book. Brooks, writing in 1950, said Young was the driving force in the coverup.

    So far, there is no announced publication date. We’ll see how Mr. Turley handles this project as a sole author, albeit one with no formal training in history but instead a background in the law.

    1. Interesting stuff on Turley, David. His part in the Boise presentation struck me as utterly inconsequential, not unlike a similar meeting with Marlin Jensen and a group of doubting Swedish saints several years ago. To talk down Joseph Smith’s education while talking up his own advanced education, his many travels and his calling as an attorney to be a church historian strikes me as gratuitous self-congratulation.

      In my gospel doctrine lesson yesterday we explored Jesus calling out the hypocritical scribes and Pharisees. One of their failings was to seek the honors of men instead of the honor of God. It sounds like Turley was wanting to lather a bit of the honors of men on himself!

      1. Haha, yeah, I know what you mean. He laid on the self recommendation, commendation and affirmation pretty thickly.

        But what you missed is the style of presentation. It was a ‘in the mouth of two or three witnesses’ presentation. Turley first testified and Oaks confirmed. One was Amulek and the other Alma. First Turley gave his self-congratulations and self-acknowledgement which was verified as true by Oaks as he gave thanks and acknowledged Turley’s comments.

        So, did anyone else recognise the tag team format?

  18. I walked into my sacrament meeting yesterday and noticed a whole bunch of people on the stand. It took a moment, but shortly I realized that Elder Dallin Oaks was sitting on the stand next to my bishop! I can’t wait to listen to this podcast and find out more about what was going on with this surprise visit.

      1. Lgaj, my supposition is that it is because there are groups there who believe what Denver Snuffer teaches (and he has come down hard on the Church for professing to have “keys” that they can’t even describe – also, he holds the view that if Joseph was given keys, that doesn’t mean that anyone following him had any).

        Denver Snuffer gave a series of ten lectures, the first of which was in Boise. You can find both audio and transcripts of the lectures on his blog: denversnuffer dot com. The last one was the thing that I believe has the Church up in arms.

    1. Steve in Millcreek

      I presume you are in a Boise ward, correct? Did Oaks speak in your sacrament meeting? Is that your bishop seated next to Turley in the MS photo, above?

  19. Good grief Mr. Dehlin, if any of your podcasts ever deserved a warning up front this would be it. As one who left LD$ Inc. long ago, sitting through another one of these tail chasing sessions of regurgitated nonsense made me so dizzy I damn near vomited. One needs to be slowly reinoculated before being exposed to this level of dizzying tripe again.

    I’m so out of the loop I’m completely in the dark as to why Boise needed to be rescued by these high “authorites”. Is there a special problem in Boise? If so, where would I find out about it.

  20. I’m excited the church has brought back Roadshows. Great performance Truly and Oaks! Where’s the next performance?

  21. Does anybody know what provoked this visit by D. Oaks?
    This “rescue mission” seems to be defending against an attack from the “right,” i.e. somebody who claims to have revelation not sanctioned by church authorities.

    1. In the section on false prophets, Oaks and Turley responded to half a dozen claims made by Denver Snuffer. Perhaps they believe the Boise crowd needed that pushback.

    2. I believe it was to defend against Denver Snuffer and his ten-lecture circuit (see my reply to Lgaj, above). There are people all over, listening to DS – even LDS people in other countries.

  22. These two lawyers sound like they are defending a guilty client before a jury comprised of 3rd graders.

    The LDS organization seems mostly a private equity firm masquerading as a church.

    A certain number of members are needed to maintain their status as a tax exempt church, but those members needn’t be particularly bright.

    The important “members” are dollars, shares, property deeds, etc. As long as those “members” are present in abundance, all is well in Zion.

    1. David Macfarlane

      I know plenty of really bright people who remain committed to the church, which I find both troubling and baffling. Look at Holland, who is certainly no dodo and went to a pretty good school. The explanation for enduring commitment is not in the intellect. I think we make a mistake by assuming so and disrespect those we love who remain in the fold.

      1. I know what you mean, but I said “needn’t be”. Much the same way Nevada casino operators don’t need people well versed in math and statistics,

      2. Considering a six or seven figure annual “income” which is not public knowledge and the fact that these guys are viewed as more famous than Elvis, it’s not a surprise that these guys and other “smart” people remain committed to the church. It’s the best gig in town.

        1. David Macfarlane

          Right, I get that. But I wasn’t talking about the pasty white suits at the top of the ponzi scheme. I have family I feel could be accurately described as salt of the earth. They’re smart enough to see through most schemes, but not the one that was embedded from childhood. Those hooks are so deeply set in the cheek, sometimes they can’t be removed without doing too much long-term damage.

          1. “sometimes they can’t be removed without doing too much long-term damage” Which some would argue, myself included, is by design.

      3. I live in what Mormons might call the religious hinterland of Indiana, where most Hoosiers certainly aren’t LDS but they are Christian (by their own standards). Many of them do things every day that I find absolutely ludicrous (and frankly offensive to me) but they are genuinely sincere about how they feel; so who is to argue? The fact of the matter is that their positions are illogical from the go and mostly pretty unscientific—just as with the holier-than-thou Mormons. But there is no talking these folks out of their 2-3 thousand-year-old superstitions and consequent befuddlement…so why even bother. “Smartness” or “brightness” are often not a factor here in the face of the Bible-belt juggernaut called “faith-based” living.

  23. Pingback: Apostle Dalin H. Oaks vs. Denver Snuffer: “False Prophets are among us!” | Because I am Watching

  24. Paul Belfiglio

    It never ceases to amaze me why supposedly erudite LDS church leaders continually promulgate this ’90 day’ rhetoric. The *facts* are that Joseph Smith had more than at least one, all the way up to three years to work out all of the details of the BofM. This, as well as the very plausible theories with regard to the assistance he may have received in creating the work (and I cannot overemphasize “very plausible”). In fact, there was a period of nine months alone between the time the first 116 pages were ‘lost’ and when Oliver Cowdery became JS’s new scribe for the BofM! This, and not even accounting for all of the previous years of incubation and/or collaboration time to formulate the book’s storyline, plot, etc..

    If anyone from ‘church headquarters’ is reading these comments, (and I am sure someone is), I would seriously suggest they try to do something in putting this tired, disingenuous ’90 day’ cliché teaching to rest. Rather than enhance, it eventually diminishes the church’s credible truth claims. Remember, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Unless, of course, some people are foolish in and of themselves in that they will invariably teach and believe almost anything no matter how tenuous the truth of a matter is.

  25. Wake me up when the stories are over and I will look at the Actions,Hidden beliefs and rituals of this Religion. The truth shall set you free.

  26. I should not have expected anything different, but the session opens almost immediately with a false comparison.

    Turley uses an example of Smith’s personal *writing* as a demonstration that Smith could not have *dictated* the Book of Mormon as anything other than what the Church claims it to be.

    Anybody who has spent any time in the Church has likely run across and read many pages of contemporaneously-generated content by Smith, given verbally within sermons or gatherings, and as recorded by others. There exist study manuals devoted to this sort of content. But Turley does not make this comparison – which is the one that he should be making – because it amply demonstrates Smith of being capable of *dictating* at a level far more capable than what the Church would hold up as evidence of Smith’s ability to construct and *write sentences*. Not that we don’t also have letters from Smith that demonstrate a capability exceeding Turley’s example anyway, but this initial deception of an invalid comparison is telling.

    Even if Turley’s example of Smith’s titling of the notebook in question is correct, it is accepted that a person can speak quite well while having a vastly different level of accomplishment in writing. This is precisely how every person learns to speak and eventually write – speaking/dictating precedes the writing and progress in speaking does not guarantee the same for writing. Turley’s plea for us to accept this reality as proof that Smith could not have dictated the Book of Mormon outright or through prepared notes is a claim seriously lacking in logic and honesty.

  27. Matt, CL Rand and Jerome,
    Google Denver Snuffer, Rock Waterman and Adrian Larsen for your answers as to why all the hub bub in Boise.
    Also google Boise Temple dedication Monson dementia and that may also be why they are doing damage control.


  28. Brook McDonald

    This definition of doubt = darkeness sets the phrase ‘doubt your doubts’ in a new place. Something like, cast a shadow over your darkness… gee that helps, thanks.

    Another horrid thing from this,
    To find out who is faithful and who is an apostate you can discern between the two identifying the type of question being asked:
    A) Faithful questions = a faithful person
    B) Disabling Doubts = an apostate

    The person is not really defined here by how they are asking the question. They are defined by the type of answer generated. If the answer is ‘faith promoting’ i.e. doesn’t challenge current leadership but comforts, then the person can be considered faithful.

    If however the answer cannot come, casts more doubts on current leadership OR shakes a persons faith, then they must be an apostate. Lovely isn’t it?

    Same old same old. WE leaders are never wrong, if you disagree with us it was YOU who has the wrong revelation or information. Get in line. Only when you follow us can you be sure you are right.

    1. Brook McDonald

      I would like to add here that the phrase
      “Disabling Doubts” being linked to apostasy appears to be very discriminatory.

      Think of it, if a person is disabled do we them blame them for that disability and call it sin?

      This is just self serving, judgmental, head-hunting rhetoric.

    2. “When Socrates was sentenced to death for his philosophical investigations and for blasphemy, he said, ‘well if I’m lucky, I might be able to hold conversation with other great thinkers and doubters too’. In other words the discussion of what is good, what is beautiful, what is noble, what is pure, what is true could always go on. Why is that good? Why would I like that? Because that is the only conversation worth having. And whether it goes on after I die, I do not know, but it is the conversation I want to have while I am still alive.’ Which means to me the offer of certainty, the offer of complete security, the offer of an impermeable faith that can’t give way, is an offer not worth having. I want to live my life taking risks all the time, that I don’t know anything like enough yet, that I haven’t understood enough, that I can’t know enough, that I’m always operating on the margins of a potentially great harvest of future knowledge and wisdom. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I urge you to look around yourselves at those that would tell you, people who would tell you at your age that you’re dead till you believe as they do. What a terrible thing to be telling a young person. And that you can only live by accepting an absolute authority. Don’t think of it as a gift, think of it as a poison chalice, and push it aside however tempting it is. Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come your way.”

      Christopher Hitchens.

      Who to me, is not a prophet, nor an apostle, nor a man of office or beholdings, however Dallin Oakes is not even close to being in the same league as Hitch, and should consider the long term ramifications of appealing to superstition, which as you can tell, is the hoar frost melting before the rising sun of discovery.

      1. Paul Belfiglio

        With quite masterful, ironic sarcasm, Pat Condell stated:
        “…feelings are the new truth, and the truth is the new blasphemy…”

        He continues:

        “…so, all critical opinion is rightly regarded as a form of assault, and everybody needs to be protected from assault, and what about our human rights! And yes, we all know that free speech is essential for a healthy and vibrant society, but some things are more important than that. And yes, we know that it’s the anchor to all our fundamental liberties, and without it we are completely at the mercy of unscrupulous politicians [and churchmen/women] and yes, yes, we know that if we loose free speech it will herald the decline and fall of western civilization as we know it, but what a small price to pay for bit of temporary peace and quiet.” – Pat Condell

        Also, somewhat of a parallel, what is happening more and more in the LDS church is happening in academia, as well:

  29. Michael Dempsey

    Oaks’s response to the question of whether the 15 chat with God was frustrating on several levels. First, he says that the 15 are only supposed to be witnesses of the “name of Christ,” (exactly how every TBM can be via the HG). Second, he said even if the 15 had such manifestations, they would not reveal them because “you don’t cast pearls before swine.”

    1. He does the classic “leave the door open” so the TBMs can keep believing in face to face communication (like I and most other missionaries taught is a requirement of an apostle/prophet).

    2. He pulls this “pearls before swine” crap out of nowhere. Show me where JS or BY or Peter or Paul or any other prophet or apostle has shied away from sharing experiences of divine manifestations? That’s the entire point of the New Testament … To give testimony that He lives!!!! Same with JS (see D&C 76:22). Indeed, Joseph wrote down EVERYTHING! If we don’t have that direct line, what is the point? We don’t need glorified stake presidents, we need a direct line.

    3. Even assuming this whole pearls before swine theory is real, why does Oaks consider his other spirit brothers and sisters swine? How ticked off will we be when we learn that the 15 were chatting with JC all the time but kept it from the church members because they are swine? I can’t imagine Paul ever declining to share his Road of Damascus experience just because the people were sinners. It didn’t stop Alma, Amulek, Ammon, etc. This whole “keep it secret/sacred” concept is ludicrous when applied to whether a “special witness” of Christ should be able to share his “special witness.”

    1. When D. O. deliver that line about apostles keeping personal Jesus visits to themselves, I couldn’t help thinking about keeping church finances to themselves. They have good reasons to be opaque about the imaginary former and the real latter, none of which are hard to figure out … the members are the sheep, if not exactly the swine not good enough for pearls.

  30. Randall Meyers

    “The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world…
    This is not to witness of a personal manifestation…
    apostles are also witnesses of Christ just like all members of the church who have the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
    -let me down again, Church.

    What is left that is worth to me or anyone if the prophets do not see, reveal or prophesy?
    -any other church or no church is the same.

  31. I was a little bothered by this comments about how they don’t testify of sacred experiences because it might get out amongst non-believers. Isn’t that the job apostles are supposed to do – testify of Jesus Christ to the world? Why would they worry about someone recording their experiences and sharing it? If Joseph Smoth subscribed to that philosophy we wouldn’t have a church now, would we?

  32. Wowsers! Thank you for posting this “Faith promoting” meeting. I wasn’t even aware there was a Swedish Rescue, so I went back and read the transcript on that.

    After listening to the podcast and reading the Swedish rescue, the only thing that comes to my mind is a quote from Star Wars, modified for the current situation:

    Governor Oaks — “Apostate Member, before your excommunication, I’d like you to join me for a ceremony that will make this religion un-opposable. No member will dare oppose the Prophet now.”

    Apostate Member — “The more you tighten your grip, Oaks, the more members will slip through your fingers.”

  33. Using the D&C, one of the most self agrandising and self serving books ever written, to assert that Smith alone as the self proclaimed prophet could receive revelation, is ludicrous in the extreme.

  34. TRIAGE
    “The Boise Rescue”

    Changing the world one
    Mormon at a time through
    religious understanding and
    Mormon Counter-Apologetics
    Mormon Apostles and high Pharisees don’t need apostates they seem to do perfectly well on their own.
    Seems Mormon Counter-Apologetics is on the rise and the anointed want to get in on the deal.

    “The Boise Rescue” on Mormon Stories is poignant when invoking sprites, demons, gins and other paranormal thinking.
    Working on the terrors of the damned is very much alive and healthy. Had they invoked the Liahona and their Testimony Gloves the presentation would have gone swimmingly.
    Twas great to hear the desperation of the anointed, they were obstreperous, condescending and imperious –– much the way it was done Oh so many years ago.

  35. Oaks exclaimed “well who has them?” or words to that effect when he was talking about the keys of the priesthood. This was his “answer” to one of the hard questions. He asserts that of course the LDS leadership has possessed this imaginary authority since Smith “restored” it, therefore the church is true.

    Like every other hard question raised in this presentation, there is no real answer offered by Oaks at all, just nonsense and logical fallacies.

    His answer is as useful and logical to the questioning as someone watching the Wizard of Oz and questioning whether the monkey’s wings are big enough to support their weight. Oaks might answer: of course they are, else who would have captured Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion?

    The answer is fantasy, and does not answer a legitimate question, albeit a question also related to fantasy.

    Oaks’ answer makes as much sense as someone proclaiming the Wizard of Oz is a true account because ‘who else could have captured Dorothy and her friends?’

    It’s insanity. The man is a lawyer, yet he’s babbling nonsense. I thought Monson was the senile one.

    1. “Well, who has them?”

      Love how Oaks rolls the dice, hopes for a six and then builds a billion dollar empire and enslaves millions, proclaiming he’s their ‘king’ on the premise that his rolled six was the ultimate keys of the universe.

      What a pathetic, destructive, narcissistic, dangerous, egomaniac.

  36. Having taken a BYU graduate class in the textual criticism of the Greek New Testament, Richard E. Turley states concerning Luke 22:43-44 that: “If you look at the thousands of early manuscripts of the New Testament, . . . you will discover that there are some in which those verses do not exist.” Turley misunderstands the problem, because one of the first things to learn in textual criticism is that you don’t count the manuscripts, but you weigh them. So let’s look at what we have at Luke 22:43-44. These two verse are not found in the third-century Greek Papyrus #75, the first corrector of the Greek Codex Sinaiticus, the Greek Codex Alexandrinus, the Greek Codex Vaticanus, three other Greek uncials, a few of the Greek minuscules, a Greek lectionary manuscript, a sixth-century Old Latin manuscript, the Sinaitic Syriac, the Sahidic Coptic, and part of the Bohairic Coptic. It is, thus, not found in the earliest and best Greek manuscripts, the earliest Syriac manuscript, the earliest Coptic manuscript, and one of the early Old Latin manuscripts. Another factor to consider is that the verses don’t just appear, but they often appeared and were marked with an asterisk or an obelus in the margin to indicate that these two verses are known to be spurious. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, p. 177, states that these verses “were added from an early source, oral or written, of extra-canonical traditions concerning the life and passion of Jesus.” I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, p. 831, states that “the textual evidence for omission is strong; . . . and those that exclude them are old and diverse.” The conclusion is that Luke 22:43-44 was not in the text when Luke wrote his gospel.

    1. I never took any such class, and I saw thru this point that Turley made, too. It is precisely facts like these — the Book of Mormon containing concepts added to the Bible during the “Great Apostasy” — that WEAKEN my faith in the Book of Mormon. How Turley sees this as faith-affirming is beyond me.

    2. The biblical ‘Jury’ is still out on this topic. There are plenty of biblical scholars who believe these passages in Luke 22 to be genuine.

      In fact, these passages are found in the Luther Bible (Luther Bibel 1545) which Luther translated from the Textus_Receptus which is considered in some biblical circles to be a more accurate set of manuscripts than the Alexandrian Text manuscripts from which several of the sources you mention were translated from.

      I am certainly no biblical scholar so I can’t address this fully but from what I have read (from both your comment and other sources), there isn’t consensus and conclusions on those verses.

      1. I agree that there is no “smoking gun” here but these verses have been controversial for 1,700 years. The weight of the evidence is that these verses are an interpolation.

        I read an article which was well done by a fellow from BYU a few weeks ago on this topic. It clearly demonstrates some good points but these are on the weaker side.

        I don’t think you can say that the Jury is still out on this.

        Critically the issue is not on whether the verses are authentic or not, but is whether the BOM is literarily dependent on the Bible or not. Since the BOM includes word for word quotations from the Bible including texts that did not exist in the timeframe of the quote then we can only conclude the BOM is dependent on the Bible. It therefore cannot be another testament.

        Please let us know which

  37. 10 minutes into this, I realized one of the reasons that I no longer attend. LDS meetings are mind numbing!

  38. It’s not only embarrassing, it’s a larger disappointment to see the silliness of Oaks than it was to recognize that the church wasn’t true in the first place.

    Mormonism is a “worthiness” church and if Oaks says that worthiness — for revelation, discipleship, salvation, etc. — depends on accepting and following the leaders, then members fearful of their worthiness will obey.

    1. Very insightfully. I felt an incredible peace after reading your comment. That peace was as much revelation that I deeply needed to feel at an such a vulnerable point in my life. Thank you so much

      1. Ultimately, all of Christianity reduces to false religious shame and guilt that has nothing to do with anything the historical Jesus taught or imagined.

        Nobody plays that game better than Mormonism does and nothing epitomizes it more than their pathological and controlling use of “worthiness.”

        Along with sex, now add obeisance to Mormon authority & dogma as the gauge.

        The Emperor’s New Clothes has always been the reality of Mormonism but with Oaks in Boise, they’re now declaring it in neon.

  39. How any man or woman could sit through this meeting and not feel intellectually insulted is beyond my comprehension. Buying into this malarkey requires a complete suspension of rationale thought. Pearls before swine, spooky Satan threats, imaginary priesthood keys, the rhythm of apostasies…, are you kidding me? Discussing the flaws in this discourse with these church leaders would be more painful than self-inflicting hammer blows to the head and conclude with the same result. I’m in awe that any human being with an iota of skepticism and an Internet connection could still be deluded into believing any of this is not built on fraud.

  40. Just kept thinking:
    1. Please support your claims
    2. Please stop creating straw men.
    – as if anyone really cares, or if it is relevant to anybody doubting, lets talk about people who say they get revelations and just shred ’em, because so many people are falling a way from the Church to follow guys who claim visions and peep stone inspiration. Come on!
    3. Is this largely about Rock Waterman?

  41. Turley and Oaks’s enumeration of points regarding apostasy make a leap of logic on points 1 and 3 (and this is coming from a TBM). The D&C sections that they quote for points 1 and 3 pertain specifically to Joseph Smith, and not necessarily to a generic prophet, or to the President of the church (it’s not even clear to me whether the position of President or the FP even existed when JS received these sections). Turley/Oaks need to bridge how those sections written about specifically about JS necessarily pertain to subsequent Presidents of the church (nowhere in these sections does it even insinuate this idea).

    Additionally, in their prepared question and answer segment they attempted to address the concern that the church today requires following church leaders (i.e., men) rather than Christ. Their response that early Christians followed the apostles and other early church leaders is nonsense; Christians always follow Christ!

  42. The……..slowest…….hymns……..ever…….played………holy……………crap…….

    The revised history and fear mongering continue. They can’t be honest! I guess I’ve been deceived and I’m just an apostate?!

  43. I listened to this and I could sum up Oaksand Turley’s words as a massive attempt to “poison the well” telling everyone that only LDS leaders get revelation and everyone else who says they do and it is not inline with the LDS church, is a fallen apostate. What a bunch of hooey!

  44. -I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more…if only they knew they were slaves- Harriet Tubman

    -It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority- Benjamin Franklin

    It is this ‘don’t question authority’ mentality that has started my faith transition. When people are told this, THIS is when authority NEEDS to be questioned.

  45. As I read through the comments above I’m struck by how much the Bretheren aren’t particularly concerned about us on this forum. We are “lost causes”. They don’t really care what we think. We all need to get over ourselves. The brethern are concerned about retaining the next generation. The probelem with that model, is that anyone who has access to the internet is at a much less likelyhood of remaining in the fold.

    I call the LDS church’s model, the N Korean, East German model. Its a disinformation model. They stay in power by limiting people’s access to information and instilling fear in those who might fall away. For example: Spouse and children leave you, siblings, parents, friends, business associates are alienated by you, etc..

    When I heard Oaks speaking, all I could think of was Warren Jeffs and Willy Jessop warning the flock. A vertiable dog and pony show.

  46. I think Oaks knows what he’s doing. He’s tightening up the in-group boundary and he’s willing to end up a smaller and more unabashedly orthodox Church.

    Perhaps the COB has already done a cost benefit analysis of a brain drain, at least of a certain type – one that craves truth more than certainty, innovation more than order, collaboration more than lines of authoritative hierarchies, empathy more than obedience, and authentic living more than exaltation fantasies.

    This is what the $ in the LD$ is all about – preparing for an orthodox contraction. It’s not a “rescue.” It’s a retrenchment. “We’ll manage just fine without those doubters, so let’s peg them as apostates and be done with them. We’ve got $50,000,000,000.”

    1. Hard to disagree with that. I also get the feeling that doubters are not welcome, and that the Oaks/Turley message was carefully crafted, and doesn’t need to appeal to everyone. A few jokes, a few “fruit fly” comments, and enough people will hold doubters in contempt.

  47. On the same night this “rescue” was going on in Boise, I attended a stake fireside (in Henderson, Nevada) on handling a faith crisis that was presented by Richard and Claudia Bushman. Unlike this “closing ranks” message by Oaks/Turley, the Bushman’s were very much presenting a “big tent” message, there was a Q&A session where difficult questions were actually asked and (mostly) answered, and the general message was to hold onto the parts of Mormonism that work for you, but that if your doubts lead you out of the Church, as long as you believe in Christ and seek to have a good relationship with him, then you’ll be just fine. It was a refreshing message.

    1. Aaaagggghhh! J. Crown, by chance did you hit “record” on your smartphone before the meeting started? We all need to be doing this!!!

      1. Sorry no audio. I considered recording it but consciously decided not to. My stake seems to be handling these issues well, and I didn’t want to do anything to chill the candid discussion that is occuring here. Last year, the stake president’s message at stakeconference was all about handling a faith crisis. In addition to this faith crisis fireside by the Bushmans for adults Saturday night, there was one for the youth Sunday morning. The stake presidence has said there will be more such meetings. Right or wrong, I am benefitting from the approach my stake is taking with these issues and so chose not to record it. Maybe that’s selfish.

    2. David Macfarlane

      The treatment of the Bushman and Givens power couples is baffling to me. They’ve both come up with alternative narratives that work for them, which is fine, but neither directly support the creation myth told by the church. Indeed, Rough Stone Rolling has been the beginning of the end for many, which I feel confident the author knows. Richard Bushman talks about the inherent “goodness” of the religion, not it’s literal truth. Terryl Givens seems to approach the church and scriptures as a humanities professor, which he is, reading everything as some kind of metaphorical lesson God would have us learn through the interpretive powers of people like … Terryl Givens. Because they are faithful and well known, but not necessarily literalist, they can stay and their books are on the shelves at Deseret Book. Just don’t be angry and antagonistic at having been deceived and you can stay. Not sure what other message to glean.

      1. Mr. McFarlane:

        Keep in mind how important keeping up appearances is to the Church. They know that the vast majority of details from any talk, fireside, etc will go in one ear and out the other of 99% of those that hear it. However, the membership associating the folksy, positive messages of the Givens’ and Bushmans with the institutional church is likely seen as a big positive by the church.

        This is just my opinion, but both couples appear to benefit socially and financially from maintaining positive relationships with the church. They have no incentives to jeopardize that that I can see.

        Socially and financially prominent and successful church members have always been cut a lot of slack too. It may not seem fair, but that seems to be the way it works nowadays. Examples are many but I will leave it to others to discuss them.

  48. It seems to me that I can question all I want until I get the wrong answer.

    So if the church we’re true, they should teach the actual history of JS or of course we will then question the integrity of the people that hid the truth from us. Duh.

    My feeling is that the church took the angle long ago to grow membership so they had to clean up the image or nobody would join and create that nice corporate growth model they seem so fond of.

  49. Ugh, it was hard to make it through the whole talk. The only thing worse probably would have been to sit through it in a room packed with people (as per the NOM post) and see their powerpoint slides. No room for an actual Q&A was the last slap on the face. I’m so glad I’m out of this but so frustrated for my TBM wife… :(

  50. Triage Rescue A Modest Proposal
    Ecumenical Truth is the answer
    Beside the Liahona and the Testimony gloves, Perhaps an interfaith approach could invoke the terrors of the damned to inspire devotees to adherence but a kinder gentler approach might cast more pearls to more swine.
    Muslims and Mormons could reconcile their modest differences and merge their flocks to obtain spiritual unity both here and in the ever-after.
    The Muftis and Bishops whether Mormon or Muslim could tear pages from the BOM (Book of Mormon) and the Koran (Quran) to deliver solace to their devotees. Their flocks could worship in each others houses of praise and partake in ritual circumcisions, enjoy halal foods and direct their praise to the same deity.
    This merger would greatly reduce accusations of blasphemy and apostasy and diminish the need for leadership to harass the brothers and sisters with foolish haranguing. On the one hand, it would solve many spiritual conflicts but on the other hand it might take many generations for a full merger to occur.

    Personally I wish in one hand and hope in the other

  51. I just wish someone could explain what the big deal with the golden plates is. If they weren’t even used to translate the book of mormon then we certainly deserve clarification don’t we?

  52. In the Fullness of Times Student Manual, p. 448 states, that rebaptism was very common among the Saints and was officially put to an end in 1897.

    An excerpt from the student manual:

    “Church leaders also discontinued the long-standing practice of rebaptism. Oftentimes Latter-day Saints had been rebaptized in conjunction with important milestones, such as marriage or entering the United Order or sometimes for improvement of health. These rebaptisms were recorded on Church membership records. The First Presidency grew concerned that some members were substituting rebaptism for true repentance. In 1893, stake presidents were instructed not to require rebaptism of Saints wishing to attend the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple, and in 1897 the practice of rebaptism was discontinued altogether. As President George Q. Cannon explained, “It is repentance from sin that will save you, not rebaptism. (Conference Report, Oct. 1897, p. 68.)”

    Concern (fear) dictated the change in the doctrine and practice of rebaptisms, not revelation.

  53. With all this talk of Prophets and false Prophets, can anyone familiar with the LDS church tell me what prophesies have come from the church leaders over, let’s say, the last 30 years?

    1. I’m not sure if this counts as a Mormon Revelation but Elder Oak’s wife claims the five points of Testimony the Glove are core doctrines.

      This Revelation contains:
      It changes [people’s] lives and brain chemistry
      It helps prepare children for LDS baptism and obedience
      It reactivates families to submit to authority
      It teaches the gospel without having to touch The Bible
      It anchors adult’s testimonies to repeat again and again till it all becomes clear

      Testimony Gloves anchor Adult’s Testomny to full radiance of Celestial Afterlife.
      Be advised and tremble in fear.

  54. I don’t see following of members seeking after others who claim to be a “prophet” other that the ONLY true prophet Thomas S. Monson.

    Why is this issue being discussed so plainly?

    My biggest problem with faith in Thomas S. Monson “the prophet” is NOT following what outsiders are saying, or being “deceived” by “false prophets” but rather the untold, covered-up, dirty secrets of the church’s ACTUAL history (ie. Polygamy, Blacks and the Priesthood, changes to the BOM since orginal 1830 edition, etc) Which the church now admits on their online essays, but in no way addresses or provides solid answers to these inconsistencies.

    How can I trust the current “prophet” if so much history has been covered-up, and denied for more than a century? Then we are told by that same organization to just “TRUST AND DOUBT NOT”!

  55. Steve in Millcreek

    Did someone offer to transcribe it? If so, is it coming soon? Will it be posted in the introductory notes of this MS podcast?

  56. Here is my review and critique of the meeting. The most telling assertion by Turley was that the Saints knew by the spirit who had the priesthood keys during the succession crisis and thus that is why they voted for Brigham Young, even though his claims were based on “secret” ordinances which is in direct violation of Turley’s own Rules of Order. Incredible.

  57. I tried to listen to this objectively but was confused by the strategy for the “rescue”. The central message seemed to be a semantic argument. Arguing semantics may be a winning strategy in court but in conversation it can be off putting because it makes people feel like you are twisting their words. Isn’t the manipulation of the narrative exactly the thing that has folks looking for the exits?

    The most interesting thing I learned from this presentation was that the church hires lawyers to be its historians (and apostles in this case). I guess that’s who I would want researching/recording my history if I needed to build a case for my veracity on hearsay.

  58. I’m an exmormon. I listened to this rescue in its entirety and it convinced me that I need to repent. Not for having left the church; rather, for having bought into it for the first 35 years of my life.

  59. they are in total panic mode. people are leaving in droves. the falsehoods of this cult are becoming more and more apparent and they have to do something to stop the bleeding. and.. all they’ve got is “we are right, we are right, believe us when we tell you we are right”.

    1. Can you tell me where you got your information about “leaving in droves?” I’ve heard people say that, but until I get real information, I’m not sure I buy it. Is there a report? I would doubt such a report exists, except maybe the Pew reports on religion in America. Certainly not a church-generated report.

      1. The expression became famous because of unusually candid remarks by a GA back in 2012.

        “A religious studies class late last year at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, was unusual for two reasons. The small group of students, faculty and faithful there to hear Mormon Elder Marlin Jensen were openly troubled about the future of their church, asking hard questions. And Jensen was uncharacteristically frank in acknowledging their concerns.

        Did the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints know that members are “leaving in droves?” a woman asked.

        “We are aware,” said Jensen, according to a tape recording of his unscripted remarks. “And I’m speaking of the 15 men that are above me in the hierarchy of the church. They really do know and they really care,” he said.”

        Although there are no direct reports, there are enough indications that many people are dropping out. The TBM run website traces LDS growth and shows that the rate of growth of the church has declined. The UK actually is showing negative growth of members over the last two years, despite the six missions there.

        Many, many areas show flat growth in the number of congregations and stakes, again despite the large number of missionaries. California, with 16 missions, and an estimated over 3,000 missionaries, has fewer stakes now than in 1991.

        While the number of total members gradually creeps up, so do the average number of members per unit, a key indication that the 80,000+ missionaries are simply adding more “less actives” to the roles.

        The reported growth as a percentage is the lowest (ever?, at least since 1970).

        The best indication that a record number of people are leaving is that the net growth in 2014 (converts plus new children of record minus the number of deaths and resignations) shows that:

        “It is interesting, though, that the grays bars stick out a little further almost each year since about 2002, meaning that a larger percentage of Mormons are dying each year, or a larger percentage of Mormons are leaving, or a combination of both. For 2014, that discrepancy is approaching 50% — 122,000 people for 2014 — a decrease that actually offsets the increase in children of record.”

        We can see that outside of West Africa, Brazil and the PI, there just isn’t any substantial growth anywhere in the world. The growth of congregation in these areas lag the number of reported new members, so more less actives are being added to the roles.

        While we don’t have a comprehensive report, we don’t need one. Although many ex members would like to think that it’s on the brink, there are no indications of that. However, what we know is that the only way to read these numbers is if members are “leaving in droves.” And they are.

        1. I saw a Pew report that said that percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Mormon was 1.6 percent in 2014, down from 1.7 percent in 2013. The difference is not statistically significant, so the report labeled the Mormon population as flat.

  60. Wow! The restorationist movement (Denver Snuffer instigated) is really scaring them! Not only did they attempt to refute some of what he teaches, they defended the “keys” they claim to have with a question that can be answered thusly: “No one has the keys. They died with Joseph Smith.”

    I find it ironic that this was in Boise, the very same place Denver gave his first lecture.

    If you want to see what they are defending, look at the tenth lecture (to understand it, it’s best to read or listen to the nine preceding ones). It’s an explosion of massive degree.

    If you listen to the recording, you’ll hear some clapping and cheering. Not all of the clapping made its way into the recording. At one point, he pauses but you hear nothing in the background at first. People were clapping. Finally, it got loud enough for the recording to pick it up.

    This movement is spreading. People are being kicked out of the Church for not following prophets who do not prophesy, seers who do not see, and revelators who do not reveal anything.

  61. I appreciate that Elder Oakes and Brother Turley are trying. I found the presentation to be a bit disappointing. I’m in the early weeks of a faith crisis, and I’m looking for any and all information I can to help me navigate these rough waters. Now on P. 36 of Rough Stone Rolling, and re-reading the B of M with special urgency.

    To John Dehlin: would it be possible to organize a panel discussion in the style of the PBS Newshour’s Mark Shields’ and David Brooks’ weekly analysis of the news? Could a few experts analyze the presentation in this podcast? I would find it truly useful. I’m not a scholar, but I’m soaking up everything I can, these days.

    In fact, such an analysis would be great after General Conference, especially focusing on a few notable talks, considering how long conference is.

    I appreciate the podcast and others like it. I’m relying on them.

  62. Toni:

    There was just an article in the Deseret News showing what a wonderful father E. Oakes is (seemed hastily put together). So, everything is o.k. now at The Church of P.R. We can still follow them because we just got a P.R. revelation full of warm fuzzy fatherhood.

  63. Reading all the spiritual abuse and abuse of persons of conscience I read happening in the LDS sect makes me glad I am not a Mormon. Excommunication must be an awful experience even if a person of Mormon background is going to resign. Where can an excommunicated but committed Mormon go for spiritual fellowship when LDS doctrine is so distinctive? I was surprised a woman was allowed to pray at the end of the service. I come from an evangelical background where women speaking in front of assemblies, much less praying is frowned upon. I am a silent minority in my sect who is egalitarian versus complementarian and who believe woman have the right to preach. I never say much because I fear I could experience church discipline. It is kind of my choice, and I can imagine many Mormons believe a woman can be the Mormon equivalent of a preacher and don’t speak because of the conflict it would cause. The gay issue is a mystery to me. I turn it over to God and pray for understanding. Most gay people I have met are nice people. Maybe some Mormons feel the same way and never say anything for fear of causing conflict with the zealots.

  64. To John Dehlin: Let me suggest a follow-up analysis of either this presentation or other presentations that seem noteworthy by apostles, etc. I’m thinking of something in the style of the PBS Newshour’s weekly analysis by Mark Shields and David Brooks. That’s my favorite part of the news. What do the smart guys think? It would be very interesting to hear a civil discussion by a faithful expert and a critical expert.

      1. Aron, thank you. Do you know if John sees these comments? Is it better to send him a message? I don’t see a Contact link.

      2. Aron, I found an e-mail address for John Dehlin, and I wrote to him, suggesting an episode devoted to critical/faithful analysis of the Oaks/Turley presentation. I included your suggestion of Brent Metcalfe as the critical expert. So, thanks!

  65. First of all I think oaks was referring to false prophets as as a general group of people –not just Mr. Snuffner–but a false prophet would be anyone who speaks about information and facts the church does not want spoken about
    (even if it is true)
    John you are not a false prophet you are a man who has the courage to seek for truth and to talk about it–and thank you for helping us to learn the truth
    Facts and personal insight have been your guide–what some would call personal revelation
    There are two ways to look at Oaks and his beliefs–either he knows the facts and he doesn’t care even though they are horrendous and damaging–or he doesn’t have the courage or the interest to find out the facts –and therefore continues to believe without the facts–
    Either way he is either ignorant about the origins of the church–or The truth about the church doesn’t concern him–i
    Where is the honesty and courage in that?
    His words and his spirit about him Never have seemed to be full of love like Christ–rather constantly focusing on Mormon doctrine–it doesn’t make you feel good to listen to him-it’s often disturbing but I think he thinks that his duty-
    it will be very difficult for members if he does become a prophet someday
    What do you think?

  66. This episode highlights how the leadership of the church treats the general membership like children. Oaks can’t speak plainly and tell people why he went to Boise. Instead, the PR department releases a coy statement about how Oaks had a free weekend, so he went up to Boise to do a tag-team Powerpoint with the church historian. This is not how you treat adults.

    However much the leadership of the church may or may not “love” the members, they clearly do not have a high opinion of them. They infantilize them and treat them with kid gloves.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking after listening to some of this, except I was just going to simplify:

      “This is just SO…. dumb.”

      Gah. Maybe it’s because I’ve been out for so many years, but the gobbledygook they spit out is such obvious hogwash.

    2. But Oaks said they spent months putting the presentation together. How could it also be a spontaneous trip because Oaks had the time?

  67. I’ve been researching church history for years and years. I grew up LDS and served a mission, was sealed in the temple, etc… and I’ve come up with a few questions that the leaders refuse to answer. I’m a heretic, not an apostate; and the difference between the two is pretty important.

    1. If someone hasn’t spoken with God, how can they speak FOR God? I very personally know a few dozen people who chitchat with God all the time, all reporting a pretty consistently benevolent if sarcastic, clever character; not at all the sociopathic god of the scriptures. Who are these apostles really working for?

    2. Our first doctrine is a war in the heavens for free will. If there is doctrine preached that demands strict obedience instead of living by one’s conscience, whose plan is served by that?

    3. When girls are told that if they have sex before marriage they are equivalent to “chewed gum” or “a licked cupcake” – in either case, less-desireable, then is this in line with the complete repentance Jesus teaches? (Hint: NO.)

    4. If the glory of God is intelligence, and we are commanded to obey human leaders regardless of truth or intelligence, when was God excommunicated?

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  69. Don’t you just love how Richard Turley, trys to paint Joseph Smith as a stupid country bumpkin who couldn’t piece together a logical sentence.

    Here’s a direct quote from Joseph from “Rough stone Rolling”

    …. “My intimate acquaintance with those of differant denominations led me to marvel excedingly for I discovered that they did not… adorn their profession by a Holy walk and Godly conversation agtreeable to what I found contained in that sacred Depository this was a grief to my soul”


    A perfect speller? —- Maybe not.

    An illeterate dummy who couldn’t paste a coherant sentence together? hmmmmmmm?

  70. Won’t be long before what is going on in LDS church will make national news — if the discontent Denver Snuffer indicates is really happening? I am not a Mormon. I just see parallels between what is happening in the LDS
    sect and what is occurring in broader Christendom. One is questioning of ecclesiastical authority and the other is the impact of modernity. This is difficult for so many readers here who are disaffected or have been excommunicated, but I hope that LDS leadership does find some solution to these questions that satisfies a broad constituent of LDS members. Reason for my concern: I have lived through the aftermath of a religious civil war within the Southern Baptist Convention and we are the less for it, and we are still at war and less unified than ever before, long after the civil war ended. Now we are battling over Calvinism and the battles regarding pastoral authority are even more strident in my sect. Once there is a religious war it never ends and some other issue will become an essential issue. Sorry for expressing my opinion as a non-Mormon. i wish you well.

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Mark. The conversation is as broad as the human family and your observations are a cautionary tale for the Mormons.

      Keep an eye out for Denver Snuffer in your world as well. He claims that Jesus Christ has commissioned him to invite those who will believe throughout the world to accept Jesus Christ and be baptized. If you should tire of the internecine battles of your faith you might find the standard used by Snuffer interesting if not refreshing. He goes by Jesus Christ’s definition of both the doctrine and church of Christ found in Mormon scripture being those who come unto Christ and are baptized by one having authority. Period. Open to anyone who will believe. Good luck to you, brother.

  71. Today in gospel doctrine I heard fthat fb is a perfect example of false prophets. Apparently I learned all you have to do is have a following and you have built a church. What?!? I had to leave. Has logic and reason completely disappeared? So basically if you have a question or are struggling with difficult TRUTHS and you ask difficult questions and others join your conversation, you have now formed a church. I try to go to church to support my family but what I hear hurts my brain and breaks my heart.

    1. One of the major challenges members face is the sheer SCALE of traditions that prevent them from knowing their own theology. There is an established pathway of information coming from the top of the structure. Questions from below are referred to local authorities, who are not trained theologians. This prevents accuracy in any context. This keeps the top guys like Oaks, or past dudes like Kimball and Benson, from becoming connected with the reality of membership; indeed, it alienates them from reality. And the members are left to spin in little confused circles. This is a bad system.

  72. Have always wondered why the exact date of the Restoration of the Melchizedek was not duly recorded. Seems like a pretty vital occurrence in the Restoration, as all church activity is carried out under its purview and is subject to its authority and under its direction.
    According to Brother Turley, the prophet Joseph Smith, took the time to enter the Month & Date he purchased and commenced writing in one of his early pocket/notebook journals.
    Recording the exact date of receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood under the hands of the origional Apostles Peter, James and John would seem much more important than recording the date a journal was commenced.
    Has a record of the exact date ever been discovered in any historic documents?…Any thing recorded by the Prophet or Oliver Cowdrey?

  73. I just finished Teryl Given’s Wrestling the Angel. It is so careful and respectful of both sides of an issue. It is such a contrast to the sloppiness and one-sidedness of this presentation. They don’t try to answer how personal revelation fits with priesthood authority, for example. Or explain how, with such a strong reliance on the leaders of the church, how to make sense of a gross error such as denying Blacks the Priesthood. Or to explain how we’re supposed to stick to the authorized teachings of the church when history shows that not everything is canonized, but there have been various points of view. Nor how we’re supposed to integrate our own experiences with those official teachings. And Elder Oakes carries the message with a matching stiff and authoritative tone of voice. In summary, the one-sidedness makes it mostly useless to me.

    1. Teryl Given’s
      Wrestling the Angel: Yet another, yet more, yet still another repitition to convince us, the unwashed that, he Terryl, is the foremost authority on Mormon Conjecture.
      Yes, and you for only $34.95 can fall into a torpor with the likes of paratheology.
      Golly, how many more can the creator of the Crucible of Doubt bring to life?
      he gives birth to these revelations minute by minute,
      For the sake of civility perhaps Terry could keep it in his pants for a while.
      Seems Mormonism is on a roll with apostasy perhaps he could shift polarity and join in, contribute to Mormon Counter–Apologetics for a time.
      This might balance out the Jinns, Sprites and dust motes of frontier logic.

      1. I think you’ve missed the point. Teryl is at least trying to respect both sides of an issue, which there are, and I commend him for it. Elder Oaks is not really trying. And Teryl has some serious criticisms of aspects of the church, much more than fruit flies. Is it better to encourage people to take sides as if we’re in a football game, or is it better to encourage people that they find truth wherever they can find it?

  74. Why does Elder Oaks assume that he and other leaders are immune from being false prophets? It is the disposition of almost all men to exercise unrighteous dominion, and amen to their priesthood when they do, suggesting the falseness could affect even them. Misconceptions about Blacks and the priesthood certainly affected Brigham Young. It’s somehow too easy to believe that any revelation within the hierarchy of the church is from true prophets and anything outside that differs is from false prophets. Someone could be influenced from past prophets and be going against current prophets. Only a false prophet would discount that person influenced by past prophets. Let all of us avoid being a false prophet.

  75. Elder Oaks-

    Perhaps keeping a ‘witness’ of Christ to yourself is a very sacred experience. Whether or not our leaders ‘see’ Christ, I would hope that any witness of Him would cause one to want to emulate Him. This is what I am having an incredibly difficult time with as I observe and experience the church today.

    Christ did not go abroad with biblical scholars proving himself the Messiah, yet people wanted to hear Him, be around Him, partake of the love He had for them. He associated with the outcasts of His day. He drew them nearer to Him with His love. His ancient apostles spoke of Him plainly.

    As a lifelong member, very active, returned missionary, temple marriage,…(and on), it is alarming for me how Christ does not seem to be the focus from our leaders on any level. (In fact we are told to put our ‘faith’ in them?! Are these not men? Fallible men?) Neither through actions, talks, etc. Manuals focus on lives of past prophets, dissecting scripture/history (which we are learning is not quite true what we were originally taught through these lesson manuals), and LDS cultural expectations.

    Christ is love. L-O-V-E! That is the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what people yearn for. That is the name on every building owned by the church. I would hope that if I were to ever be a ‘witness’ of my Savior, that I would witness His love.
    However this ship gets turned around, I believe this is the fuel that will do it.
    I am not ‘criticizing’, I am ‘suggesting’.

    1. G-,

      I like your take. The focus is not on Christ at all. I am a full time member who is transitioning to get away from it all. I served a mission, married in the temple, went through a faith crisis about a decade ago, and have finally decided to decided that I can be happier outside of it. Listening to this “rescue” job just reinforced that.

      G- I am assuming you are just being facetious with your final comment. I think that is one the main problems of our church, this idea that our leaders are above criticism and its a staple of many horrible regimes throughout history. If you cant discuss honestly your thoughts and feelings in a system you are a part of, that is dangerous system I feel like and not one conducive to truth.

      I also find it silly that current leadership use this excuse that they cannot answer or talk about their experiences. What good is a prophet if he cant tell anyone about his experiences with God. Why would God be talking to a man and then tell them to keep it a secret. “No, instead just insinuate it. Never say it, that would be like throwing pearls before swine. Just wordsmith it and never answer anything in a straightforward way.” I dont know if they just assume we are all below the intelligence level to see through that or what. But either way, you have to have prophetic experiences for people to believe you are a prophet, not be part of some hierarchical system where 15 men choose their cousins and other close associates to join them. If man has agency, then the whole system could be a fallen system, beginning with Brigham Young and we would never know it. Because these men are not claiming prophetic experiences, just asking you to follow them blindly. And you would never know if God was speaking elsewhere because they have fear mongered you into believing you are an apostate and lost soul if you dont just look to them and only them. No, not God, or prayer. No, listen to them, and only them. Else you are an apostate. “Oh. but by the way, we are just witnesses of the NAME of Christ, and by the holy ghost, just like you, but you should totally throw all in on this because we think we might be prophets because we once ‘felt’ a sort of good feeling that might make this all true and were chosen to be your elite leaders who can do anything short of killing a man and still be saved. Oh but we may or may not have seen Christ, but wouldn’t tell you anyway because you are swine – er – swine might hear. So, in summary, we are special witnesses of Christ without any experiences to back it up. Just look to us and you will be saved.”

      1. RLeeG
        I loved your post and I’m happy for your transition! Your critical thinking skills are very high functioning and I really enjoyed your literary style. All your points were made crystal clear by reasonable articulation while expressing analytical thought to express and explain truth and reality . You mixed in just enough of your own personal experiences, future endeavors and feelings, weaving it right into the true north.

        To further validate your transition. Let me tell you one of the MANY personal dealings I’ve had with these so-called fat cats.
        First about me, I was raised a biblical Christian in strong home. I’m a Christian still and I come from a family of Cops. Generations back . Three of my uncles are LAPD. My two older brother are SFPD, My younger brother works for Chicago PD were my father retired after 40+ year’s and still lives in the city and loves life. I met and fell in love and married my college love. She said I’m Mormon . I called my dad. Dad I said , “what the **** is a Mormon?” My dad knew all people groups well. He responded quickly in his Chicago Smogg riddled raspy voice. “They are a group of indoctrinated cult member’s more stupid than dangerous, why?” I’m in love with one dad and I’m going to marry her. “Son, you Be dam careful,
        D-A-M careful son! I later married her, graduated from college and my California POST training and worked for the San Bernardino SO for five years. She then wanted moved to Bountiful Utah were her parents live. So we did and I got hired here immediately.

        I never converted but learned of the Mormons theology. I noticed the contrast in culture instantly. I was raised in west Chicago, I’m not rude, I’m strait forward with a sense of humor . I’m persice and clear in communicating with other’s. Diving into Utah dealing with Mormons on what is most likely the worst day of their lives. Was insane! I was getting complaints daily for my tone of voice. Which I later learned that’s code for your not “passive aggressive” enough. I have seen first hand the supreme negative impact that Mormon church has on individuals. I thought I was well versed and experienced with crazies until I moved here to Utah. Wow! I can’t leave now because I fell in love with mountains, hiking trails, camping, streams and lake’s. Utah has the most powerful scenery. I love it! The culture makes me ill.

        With that said let me relay a on topic true interaction I’ve had with O’ ??? Unbecoming to give specifics or names. I stood in his home invited in. I did not know who he was. I identified myself and advised him of the purpose for my investigation. He immediately began to berate me. Being disorderly, yelling , personally attack me and my partner, screaming repeatedly do you know who I am, between his 3 minute tirade. Naturally it would be rude not to respond to his repeated question. So I did , saying “to answer your wanting question, your a anti cop asshole, Right! His face went pale white. I then verbally while being professional unleashed years of built up angst for these pricks. I hated watching them making money out of their people. He made a snide comment towards me having no defense for my argument. I was professional but did not hold back my personal views if him and what I believed he was, 1st a liar, 2nd a fruad and a cancer to the community!.

        Dhuring the investigation Of course he lied while looking me right in the eye’s to cover for his relative who took refuge in his enormous mansion. And let me tell you. This relative of his wasn’t hiding for no petty none violent crime.

        What did I learn in walking, searching and being in over half of their homes. I’m talking half of 15 here . Over 2/3rds of their udult kids are so gone . I’ve seen evil and these 50 year olds living with mommy are evil dude’s. Completely enmeshed with their mother’s. I can’t count the suicidal attempts of these uppers kid’s. I saw one of the most powerful even encourage him to do it once. He didn’t! From what I’ve seen their personal relationships are in complete destruction.
        Let me tell you something as you transition out of this. They are NOTHING like what they appear to be. NOTHING!!! I’ve watched many a Mormon Cop observe this behavior from the uppers and dumps the faith secretly embracing atheism.

        In conclusion do not let these businessmen trick you. They are ravening evil wolves in sheep’s clothing. I’ve seen then and heard them. They know what they are . One of the very nice uppers confessed to me he struggles to even believe in God. Englewood golf course

        1. Thanks for the compliments and i appreciate your reply. I stopped believing in mormonism long ago, but amazingly enough, it really wasn’t all the myriad of problems with church history and truth claims that finally made me want to leave. It was the leadership today mostly, and of the past 30 years or so. Honestly, I probably don’t share all the same views you do, but I do appreciate your words and experiences for sure. I do believe some of these men are great honest people, but deluded. Some of them may be bad, and your personal experience would certainly elude to that.

          I also suppose a few probably know the church is not true, but good enough to keep the charade going. I have a hard time with Oaks. Not because I suspect he is a terrible human, but because I believe he is dishonest, in the way that we describe as “lying for the Lord.” I think he thinks he is doing good work. It’s a messed up system, and I guess these guys were victims of it too. Mormonism does offer some great things though, and I will stand by that. Not all of mormonism is crazy or bad, hence I stuck around for so long. My wife eventually has joined me, and some friends. I suppose there might be a witch hunt after me at some point, but I might be saved a disciplinary action as my family is very well loved in the church here. My brother is a regional coordinator for institute and seminary and still teaches institute.

          I could not have a better family. For that, I do give a lot of credit to mormonism, but I give more of that credit to the man and woman my dad and mom are. To give the credit to mormonism is to discredit the wonderful beings that they are, and I don’t think they would be less without the church. In fact, I think some of my siblings might have been saved some tremendous guilt complexes and depression without it.

  76. Curtis Yergensen

    Please correct me if I misunderstand. It’s ok to ask questions that are faith promoting as long as the results are in greater faith and obedience. But it considered “doubt” if those questions lead to lesser faith or the answers lead to potential apostasy. So the only questions worth asking, or answering, are questions that are in favor for the church? Is it really an honest question if the answer is already pre-determined? Is this an unbiased, really looking for the truth (whatever it may be), approach?

  77. Richard Hansen

    If you don’t believe that Christ is the Son of God, it doesn’t matter what any of you have said here. If you truly believe that Christ is the Son of God and what he has taught and what he has done for everyone for each of us individually through His atoning sacrifice, then it seems to me that we better be finding out if He really does have a way for us to become more like Him and to someday be able to be with Him and our Heavenly Father. It matters not whether or not this person or that person talks properly or writes properly according to our judgement. The scriptures are replete with persons that have had face to face communication with God that still did not have so called flaws in their “character” or even in their actions. God uses imperfect people all the time to accomplish His designs for all of us. There are are many questions that I have that have no “so-called real answers” available to me yet. Whether you believe it or not , “all” the answers have not been given or revealed yet by God to His children. Life does not end with our mortal death– learning continues. We will certainly know the facts about our entire existence someday but you don’t reveal how to stop a heart so that you can repair it and then how to restart it and all the intricacies involved, to a kindergarten age child– Oh, wait you could “reveal” the process to him, but will he understand anything you just “revealed” to him and will it do him any good ? I believe that everyone should and will have questions in regards to God or the church– that’s healthy– But I have seen and experienced enough to know that most people who leave the church and then turn around and disparage its roots, its doctrine its leaders- are more concerned with not having to be “accountable” , so they simply wash it away and they think they have solved the problem and can now live how they want to without being accountable to anyone except for the god they have created according to their own image. If this truly is the Church of Jesus Christ and is His vehicle to keep us going in the right direction, then we probably ought to buckle down and know that what He has set up is for our benefit, He already lives in a state of perfection and happiness that we wanted also. He doesn’t “need” us — He wants us to have what He has because He loves us. Consider this– if what I believe is not true then it really doesn’t matter, because life has no purpose anyway, if what I believe is true– then it matters for the rest of eternity.

    1. “Consider this – if what I believe is not true then it really doesn’t matter, because life has no purpose anyway…”


      Consider this – it is what you believe that makes this statement appear true, even as it blinds you to the genuine meaning and purpose available to one who anchors his mortal life – the only life he counts on – in love and responsibility for himself, his family, his friends, and humanity, independent of religious dicta.

      Indeed, chasing after an imaginary celestial kingdom through obedience to one religious institution’s arbitrary prescriptions becomes a tragic waste of time and resources. Those fatuous billion-dollar ordinances for the dead people come first to mind – and next the army of naïve teenagers parroting yet another derivative and redacted god-myth (while withholding critical facts about Mormon origins and scriptures).

      Richard, you’ve delivered a lot of rhetorical “ifs” here. Rather than feeling certain they stack up against reality, you might consider whether they bend around in a closed circle that skirts it.

      1. Exactly Bob. And also it should be noted, if it is not true, then you spent your life involved in something that took you away from your family for immense amounts of time. I have had callings, and seen others in callings, that left them with almost no time for their kids during their young years. Now that is a travesty.

        Also, yes, Richard makes some incredible leaps of “ifs” here. “if what I believe is not true then it really doesn’t matter, because life has no purpose . . .” WOW. And there folks is one of the biggest problems with what we were taught as members and something that brought so much happiness to leave behind. To imagine that any option outside the church is pointless or “purposeless”. I for one did not find less meaning when I let mormonism go.

    2. Also consider this, Richard, if what the muslim’s believe is true, or the catholics, or etc. then you are screwed. The thing is, you would smile at that, because you “know” you are right and they are not. Most of us are also smiling at your comment.

      Consider this, if you are right, then I think I will be just fine. I served in the church to a very high degree without any spiritual confirmation of the BOM. I never received it. Moroni’s promise never came to me. I spent many hours and years searching for that answer. I do not believe in a God that would refrain from giving me a witness to the truth of something, despite my 30+ years of dedicated service to it, and then hold me responsible for choosing a new path in its absence. Do you believe in a God that will allow people to enter into His presence based on silly details? Christ did not teach about the details. He taught a simple message, not one mired in the things of the early church. I believe He is more concerned with action and intent, than whether we went to 3 hours of church or learned some handshakes.

      If the church is right, I will be fine. If it is false, I think you will probably be fine too, honestly. Only you know how you treat your fellow man and how you follow Christ’s message. I dont think paying your money, going to meetings all week, or watching temple videos will save you. I think the way you act and think will. I think we will both be just fine probably.

  78. Curtis Yergensen

    I think it would be really awesome to have Richard Turley as a quest on Mormon Stories. Might be difficult getting him tho, being as he would probably only answer faith promoting questions??

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  82. I’ve been going through a period of questioning for a couple of years now. I think you end up going through the stages of grief: sometimes anger, sometimes sadness, etc.

    In my own case I retain a strong belief in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but can’t see any real revelation beyond that historically. There are lots of scriptures that indicate that when the Messiah comes he will quickly dismiss the shepherds of Israel that took care of themselves and failed to minister to His flock. I don’t see any scriptures saying that there will be a group of faithful stewards. The closest you get is the admonition to test their fruits. Perhaps all that means is that some people are honestly trying to follow the Saviour, so if you need to follow someone, follow them.

    I think Joseph Smith has fruits that can be tested. To me, the Book of Mormon leads me to Christ, and I find that a positive thing. I don’t see any substantive fruit from those who followed him, so I have nothing to test. Temples (which are mentioned in the meeting as one of the fruits) are nice, and the theology around them is nice, but I don’t know if I trust Brigham enough to hang my hat on his say so, since almost everything else he said has been disavowed by the Church recently.

    I don’t think that the modern leaders are inherently evil men, but I think they can be sincerely wrong, just as Paul the Apostle was when he was in the coat holding business. We train ourselves to ignore our pestering questions, to put them on the shelf, just as Paul found it difficult to kick against the pricks of the spirit.

    I don’t know exactly where the truth lies, but I can say that I am enjoying the freedom of searching for myself and letting the truth lead me where it will. I don’t plan to exit on my own, but if I get kicked out, I hope that I can be as charitable as Rock and some of the others who’ve been kicked out in the current purge.

    I will say that all of the arguments that they used apply equally well to the Catholic Church’s position. What scripture actually says that the Church will be standing when Christ comes again? The only one they point to is John the Baptist saying the priesthood would remain on the earth until then, but that isn’t the same thing as the Church institution persisting.

    I did notice a re-definition of Priestcraft in their talk. In the Book of Mormon it seems pretty clear that it has to do with preaching for money, but here they said it was something else. I’ve never seen any talks on how the stipends are different from the oftentimes very modest salaries that clergy in other churches receive.

    It appears to me to be very analogous to the situation at the time of Christ, with those in authority declaring that their interpretation is the correct one, and all others heresy. I suspect that we will have to listen to the spirit when the Messiah comes to know who to follow and that those who look to a hierarchy will be disappointed.

    So far I don’t find Denver’s message compelling, but I haven’t anything against it either. I’ve been lucky that my friends and family haven’t deserted me, and I’m grateful for that.

    1. You seem like someone who is in emotional pain right now. I know what that feels like and it is not fun. I have yet to see one person who, upon further examination of the scriptures and church history, comes to have a stronger faith in the LDS church.

      The problem (or blessing) is that you can’t unlearn these things. You can’t put that toothpaste back in the tube. The church has neither a cure nor magic wand they can wave to solve these issues.

      I think that people simply have to decide what they are going to be. Will you be a member of the church and just swallow your concerns and misgivings with all the cognitive dissonance that creates, or someone who is trying to be an honest seeker of truth and then be unattached from the result and accept where ever that leads you.

      I personally think that there is a brain drain of biblical proportions going on in the church (pun intended). My next-door neighbors just resigned from the church last fall. They are both RM’s she’s a teacher and he’s a medical resident, with three small children. I know of two Ivy League freshmen (this fall) who are not planning to go on missions. One of them will be the first in 5 generations to not go on a mission. One young man from our ward read the “letter to a CES director” and came home early from his mission and refuses to attend church.

      I think the church is in real trouble and the divinely inspired brethren are befuddled on how to change the attrition that is gaining speed, every single day.

      1. David, I liked your reply here. I agree, everyone who delves into this stuff, at some point, has to decide if they will continue on because it’s “good” or attempt to move on and test the waters outside of what they know.

        There are no easy answers for the brethren. But the one thing I still have not seen them attempt, is complete honesty. I am lumping them together as a group, because I think individually some are honest about the history and what is happening now. But collectively, every essay they have written, every concession they grant, is always coupled with a good amount of spin and slight inaccuracies that have large impacts on the conclusions one draws from them. But more and more, I see they have chosen a path that leaves them vulnerable from all sides. The essays have caused many to realize all those “anti-mormons” were not anti at all, but accurate. At the same time, the inability to still be completely forthcoming leaves them open to more criticism.

        Dale, the situation you are in can be a sucky one. I only recently decided to call it quits after a lifetime of very active membership. I was scared, and still am in many ways, of the unknown. However, my wife and I can attest to the decision being the correct one. We are very happy with the decision we made. I can’t explain the amount of burden that seems to have been lifted from my shoulders.

        Last night, I went running with my 12 year old son, and we talked about some of our feelings. He is not old enough for me to explain much to, and I know he is confused still somewhat, but he can understand that my mom and I love him, and that what we want, is his happiness. It was probably one of the best talks I have ever had with him, and when we got home, he went to his little sister’s room and asked her to play a game with him that I know he hates, but that she loves. This is a rare occasion. But what has been interesting, is I have seen more and more of these positive changes from him and myself since that decision to leave.

        I think I used the church as a crutch before. I saw myself as “the natural man” or an “enemy” naturally, and the church was there to fix me. Now I have shifted a lot of those views, and let go of that need to have someone direct my efforts. For me, it has been very impactful. I find myself quicker to help those in need when I see them.

        I agree, I never saw the fruits for the leaders after Joseph at all. I don’t believe anything substantial has come from these men except in places where they are correcting the errors that their predecessors made.

  83. An excellent, pain-free, justifiable and comprehensive solution is discovering from an honest study of the Bible that Judaism has been right all along about Jesus and the NT and Christianity.

    After that comes another journey that includes, as a fully justified conclusion, that the Bible is a purely man-made invention with no god anywhere involved.

    It’s telling that FAIR and BYU/NMI churn out tons of Mormon apologetics but just seems to credulously accept the Bible as reliable history and the word of a god. Why? What — anywhere– in or about the Bible doesn’t have have a perfectly justifiable explanation that doesn’t include gods, magic or the supernatural?

  84. I’ve come to this site a few times, read most of the comments on this post and this is my first comment. A bit nervous but would like to chip in.

    Faith in God is far beyond faith in a religion, regardless which religion it is. I believe God does use men to spread his words around the world, but it doesn’t mean any men or any religious institution owes God. Religions and the rules associate with them at some levels are good for men, they are shelters, they are hedges to protect us and our faith, like a backyard fence is to keep a toddler out of the street. But at some point in time, the toddler becomes a teenager and he/she can open the gate to walk out of the house, for greater purposes. Unfortunately religions can’t afford toddlers to grow into adults, so the continue to pound the message of the “danger of the world” onto their members, to the point that they have to lie. Because there is no other way… I see through this, and I have empathy for LDS church leaders. They are just doing their job, doing it the wrong way though. And as all jobs that were done wrong, there are damaging… I see them as panicking men trying to gain control over a losing battle. They have to keep a tight control. Looking at it in a purely secular way, it’s business, the business of selling religion. I see them as men, just like all men of this world. At some point in my 22 years church members, the doctrines of this church served me well, but now I grew beyond that, and it’s up to me to be at peace with the church, knowing there’s lot of brain washing, lying, and whatever… But I still support the church, because I want religion, even a very imperfect religion, because there is NO religion that holds all truth from God. It’s seriously absurd to think a group of men that claims they can secure the favors and truth AND power of God and the only chosen from God. I just can’t buy it!!!

    But taking away their BS, they still have a lot of good stuff to offer. so I am willing to pay for this religion,, with my money as tithing and my time to serve as callings. When I don’t see value any more, I will simply walk away.

    1. I understand your perspective and the beliefs you shared. It was well explained and I certainly wish more members shared your beliefs.

      Unfortunately I pretty sure your current beliefs are not inline with the standard level of belief that is expected from the members by the church. You certainly couldn’t answer truthfully in a temple recommend interview while holding your beliefs.
      My advice, don’t share what you’ve posted here with your spouse, family, bishop or others. I can only wonder how your bishop would respond if you told him that? Yikes, be carful.

      Many who post here are experiencing a wide range of painful emotions. The podcast has assisted many of them to “stay in” or “leave” the church in a healthy positive way. Thank you for not attacking them. Good luck! I appreciated your post . Thanks for sharing!

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