Share this Episode

Comments 26

  1. As always, great episode series! Putting together a TRUE timeline is something I’ve wanted to do for several years, as it has been sorely needed. I’m excited to check out the essays.

    I’d like to add to your list of giants from who’s work I’ve benefited during my own faith transition: Kathleen Kimball Melonakos, Lee B Baker, AntiCitizenX/Dr Nagal, Brother Jake. (Recognizing, of course, that they also built on the work of others).

    See you at Thrive.

  2. Mike and John you are both amazing! Mike, I cannot believe how much I’ve learned about things I already knew because of how you described things. I am having trouble finding Mike’s essays unless those are the very ones on the Truth Claims page. As great as Mike’s message was, it was unfortunate that he kept yepping John every couple seconds and cutting John off while he was trying to speak. John is not only humorous, but says powerful, healing messages that brings the scattered parts together in concise and powerful ways. He is validating and paves a solid path for clear understanding. Also, breaking up who’s talking is an important aspect of holding the attention of an audience. Anyway, you’re still awesome Mike, and John thanks for all you do! These issues ought to be discussed

    1. Mike,

      Excellent summary of the issues. I see you are mostly through the “turning over every rock” phase. I went through that phase a few years ago. You mentioned that you have a long history of Mormon ancestry on both sides. Would you happen to be related to Capt James Brown of the Mormon Battalion on your fathers side.


  3. The comparison comes quick Having recently listened to Greg prince if you compare the man who invented basketball to Michael Jordan. Or even a sixth man on a city league team you begin to see that for all of us who are fourth and fifth generation Mormons this game of basketball if you will is absolutely all we know it’s so very in trenched that finding the truth is like discovering golf for those of us who can’t physically play basketball Anymore We still want to talk the talk we want to show that great capability but it’s impossible for the church the 65 billion dollar organization to relate to the sixth man on the city league team who really loves the game who lost his home in the economic crash of 08 because his bishop would only pay rent for struggling ward members Joseph invented Mormonism Brigham young took people to a place where escape from that environment at least the first few years and for 99 percent of the women Meant certain death and now we have mitt and harry fighting over who is the most righteous abortion proponent if the church would have spent their gains in the stock market for the year 2015 in Porto Rico after the hurricane can you imagine how many converts they could have gained. If they would just disban the word of wisdom and go back to what it was originally designed for (back to the inventor of basketball) I believe the church would be twice as big as it is now but truth is very hard to hide and inspiration was long ago replaced with invention The x files Montra was always( the truth is out there ) yep it is we will all know it when the Q 15 starts to bring hats with rocks to the podium in conference. Remember that for the first few years of basketball it was against the rules to jump when you shot well these are just a few of the ramblings that went on in my mind during this interview ( that’s why it’s not punctuated) The churches infatuation with power and money and the brotheren and the Co opting of the individual s spiritually( Bruce r Mconkie Vs George L Pace ) The truth crisis is the biggest problem the church has but the excess of money is giving it ( I mean the church) It’s biggest challenge because greed And arrogance has always destroyed its makers The humble saints who sacrificed everything they are the ones I cling to these days. This is the faith I hope to have in my possession when I die there is power in it we just have to claim it back for ourselves. Thanks again John and mike it’s nice to have a good game of horse to come to grips with age and realize just how much I loved basketball back when it was the only thing that mattered in my life

  4. Dear Mike Brown,

    I find it hard to believe that you tossed aside your testimony because church history is more messy, as you put it, than you ever dreamed. Lehi’s journey out of Jerusalem to the land of promise was messy too, but Lehi, Sariah, Nephi, Sam, Jacob, and unnamed others were able to deal with the challenges they encountered. Throughout the Book of Mormon we see messiness as part of their history, why should ours be different?

    Yes, Bushman is right. The church will need to change their narrative–and they are. As I see it the narrative we grew up with was developed in an era when the prevailing idea was to push the messy things to the back ground and highlight the best. Do you remember how the news portrayed the Kennedy administration in the 1960’s? In that era the news created the image that the Kennedy’s a created something akin to King Authur’s Camelot. They suppressed Kennedy’s womanizing and in its place presented the image of a happy family in the White House.

    So how should we look at those who created the narrative we grew up with? Were they deceiving or protecting us? There is a difference. I think we can label what they did as paternalistic.

    Take a moment and look around you. Those who really understand Joseph Smith and church history are not abandoning their faith and leaving the church in droves. Why is Bushman and many other like him still faithful? How many of the BYU religion faculty have come to Mormon Stories to relate their faith crisis? How many General Authorities have stepped forward to let the world know that the church is false?

    I’m afraid one day you are going to realize you’ve thrown the baby out with the bath water.

    I urge you to turn to fasting an prayer and reevaluate your decision to be numbered with those who are leaving the church established by Heavenly Father through the prophet Joseph Smith.

    I wish you the best.

    1. Nobody tosses aside this life’s work without deep contemplation can you imagine how tough it was for willford woodruff to undo polygamy or spencer kimball to undo the priesthood ban or our current heart surgeon to tackle the mice bailing off the boat at this present time. TIME is the key this church and it’s ever changing doctrines reside in TIME we worship an eternal perfect unchanging God. Now if you wish to defend time go ahead do all the mental gymnastics you wish but think for a moment as you judge these children of an eternal God just what it takes to pack up a lifetime of experience and breath in breath out and move on ( thank you Jimmy Buffett) for the greatest conference talk never given to those of us who have finally seen the light (tea and come) change the way you spell your title and catch up a bit to those who are putting this crap in their rear view mirrors. Like the traffic cop at the scene of a fender bender Move on there’s nothing to see here and your analects are just criticism of the drivers who landed in the same place at the same time In other words your defense of the faith is turning into criticism of those you are trying so hard to save Pray about it bring these things up with your Hevenly father tell him you will be a great god in the eternity s because you defended the prophet Joseph with everything you had then wait I promise you the stupor of thought will be immediate and you will know for yourself that what these humble servants are saying is the truth (Agrippa you already know ) You are like the dog barking at the procession. Just be nice and consider how tough it is to pack up and leave your safe space that really isn’t that safe

    2. Why do you think very few byu faculty or general authorities have come forward? I’m sure you can think of some reasons. People have little interest in truth when it competes with livelihood and social standing.
      I mean did you even listen to this podcast? If you want to stay fine, enjoy your expensive social club. But it’s clear the bathwater is filthy and the baby is just a toy doll pieced together with Elmer’s glue and some fading paint.

    3. Why do you think very few byu faculty or general authorities have come forward? I’m sure you can think of some reasons. People have little interest in truth when it competes with livelihood and social standing.
      I mean did you even listen to this podcast? If you want to stay fine, enjoy your expensive social club. But it’s clear the bathwater is filthy and the baby is just a toy doll pieced together with Elmer’s glue and some fading paint.

    4. Teancum, have you considered that perhaps the Mormon church might not be true and others can come to that ultimate conclusion while you remain with your conclusion? If I were to tell you that I think you have made a big mistake not being Catholic and I fear you have made decisions that will greatly impact your eternal salvation negatively, would that have any impact on you? I would assume not, because you see no reason, no evidence, no good argument for it being true or useful to you. You wouldn’t make such a massive decision to join Catholicism just because someone told you they knew it was true.

      It is fine that you believe, but it is not the more reasonable conclusion to hold against the evidences existing against Joseph Smith and the church. You are going to have to be content with being one of about 0.07% of the word population that can believe in this one particular church and it’s claims from the 1800’s that don’t stand up to the test of time or the arguments against it.

    5. Teancum,

      I’ve found many believing members think there are only four reasons someone would leave the church:

      – They were offended
      – They want to sin
      – They are lazy
      – They are deceived

      What these members fail to comprehend is one can leave because they find out it’s not true.

      1. Dave C.,

        Many, if not most believing members think as you stated above. Why? I think the answer is that they haven’t had contact with very many members who have left the church. Those who do have contact with members who have left, and sincerely explore their reasons for leaving, come away with better understanding. I’ve been seeking understanding for a long time and have learned a host of reasons why members lose faith.

        Those who think they have found out the church is not true, as you pointed out above, leave based on Mormonism’s messy church history. I wish them the best. I also believe that most of them will come back at some point in this life or the next when additional understanding comes to them.

        This kind of discussion needs to be balanced by pointing out there are members who know about the messiness in church history but don’t leave. Why? I believe the answer to this question is multifaceted and is beyond the scope of a few paragraphs written on MS discussion board.

        If the messiness in church history was so over whelming against the truth claims of Mormonism you would see a steady exodus of church members in the Church Education System and in the hierarchy of the church. How many CES church members and General Authorities have left the church because of the challenging aspects of church history? For CES the answer is very, very few. To my knowledge no GA’s have left (however, I think we will see it happen). Why is this so? Because they know things that keep them faithful. I believe they have had manifestations of the Spirit in ways that others haven’t.

        Why do I stay? Because of the manifestations of the Spirit. Am I troubled by church history? Yes, but I have been given numerous manifestations of the Spirit that makes it impossible for me to leave, including one experience behind the veil.

    6. So I’m guessing we can mark TEANCUM down as one of the many who simply don’t want to know that the church isn’t what it claims to be. There’s an old adage that says something about leading a horse to water which seems to be perfectly crafted for the many like teancum. One piece of advice I might offer to the fabulous folks who don’t want to know is, if you really don’t want to know, you had better stop looking. I wish you the best.

  5. Thank you for this podcast. I recently learned of the Church essays and started my own research into Church history. I’m in my 40’s and have been shocked/sickened/sad/angry, yes, angry by what I’ve found.

    The Churches foundation has too many cracks; it is built on sand. From Joseph Smith and into Brigham Young (where I am at in my studies) these men and some of their closest followers performed deplorable acts under the term “prophecy .” Yes, it may be in our history; however, I strongly feel that the Church needs to disavow Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s actions/prophecies in order for some conscience members to stay faithful.

    For those who can reconcile Church history, that is awesome and I am happy for them. For those of us who can’t, my heart breaks with them. These are very personal choices for each, and to demean or judge someone for staying or leaving is in essence not Christ like behavior.

    1. Emily
      Thank you for your comment. “These are very personal choices for each, and to demean or judge someone for staying or leaving is in essence not Christ like behavior.” I agree.

  6. Halfway through this series of interviews and looking forward to the rest of it…

    Mike’s description of how the witnesses “saw” the golden plates reminds me of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” except that the one person who admitted that he couldn’t see it failed to shatter the illusion. A credit to Joseph Smith’s charisma, perhaps?

    EDiL13 (Elohim’s Daughter in Law)

    1. Michael, did you ever go back to Venezuela to let your investigators know, or contact them by any means, that what you taught them was not true? Does truth only matter to people who live in USA? Those who find out the truth have a moral responsibility to tell those they misled know the whole truth. Would you agree?

  7. Wow…I’ve been going through my own faith transition and this was fascinating and heartbreaking. I’m a young scholar (MA History) and I understand the value of evidence, context, etc., and this information is overwhelming against the Church’s truth claims. One has to learn that to try and reconcile between the evidence/history with the faith/belief, something has to move…and it ends up that one’s faith/belief has to start shifting until a reconciliation can work with the evidence. While that shift will be different for everyone, it may often mean that that faith/belief in the Church’s truth claims is no longer possible.

    Question … Is there anyway that Mr. Brown can make available his original, unedited essays, research? I know that the Truth Claims section is an edited version. I think it would be great to have his original research and essay available to those that want access to those.


  8. Mike,
    Thank you! I found your information, Examining Mormon Truth Claims, weeks ago. I was delighted to find the Chronology of Mormon History. I enjoyed the joke at the bottom and I stamped a little smiley face on a printed copy. I look forward to reading all of the information.

    My thanks to all those who helped with this project. I love how the information is presented on the web page!

  9. John
    You use the expression that Joseph Smith ‘went to bed with’ and ‘had sex with’ Fanny Algier. Is there new information on this? My understanding is that all we know is he had a relationship (marriage, sealing, romantic) with her.
    In so many ways you’re very careful to present things accurately, and I’ve learned to depend on that.

  10. Great interview and thank you for the essays and chronology. Maybe I missed it but did you add the church claiming the kinderhook plates as authentic when they were first rediscovered, then having to publish the correction later that they were indeed fake?

  11. Great podcast! Thanks so much for sharing your story! It really helps me cope in my mixed faith marriage. Side note I was watching a show on Prime not sure how real all of the stories are that are told, but one episode talked about how in the 1830s it was very fashionable to own mummies. It was what all the wealthy people wanted. It was a fun curiosity. It was covered in newspapers as well. It just struck me how this could have influence Joseph Smith. It is so sad he duped so many people. Poor people who trusted him. I also trusted the Mormon church. I feel it is important to trust people with the truth. Thanks so much!!!

  12. Great interview. I just heard you say Michael Coe passed away. His interview was in my opinion one of the best on Mormon Stories. R.I.P.

  13. How can I contact mike? He has such great restraint. I know his frustration. I feel the same as him. But I dont have the intellect and self control he does. I’d like to know how to contact him. He sees black and white. And that’s how it should be with God. I can’t bend anymore to justify accepting non truth! The church destroyed me! I have a story! But I can’t compile. Starts with a traumatic tbi on an lds mission. Roll over accident. And it covered up. Several injured. Church tells me they can’t find record of my mission. As I ask for medical reports. They financially broke my parents as they were left to pay for my medical Bill’s. I need someone like mike to talk to. He gets to the point. I need his advice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.