Tags

Share this Episode

Comments 31

  1. Mr. Michael’s good-natured candor, especially on the subject of the “awesomeness” of the book of Mormon, was refreshingly delightsome. So many times when arguing the point of “how could such an awesome work come to be?” apostates and apologists alike start from the premise that the BoM is indeed an awesome work. It’s not. When Mr. Michael finished the BoM, my reaction was the same as it was after recently following an on-line reading of the Old Testament: “This is a HOLY book? Where’s the holiness?” Both books are about 90% murder, conquest and genocide. So, the fact that the murder, conquest and genocide was performed/commanded by “the LORD” makes it holy? You’ve lost me.

    What David Michael’s reading of the BoM has reminded me, and what I think others would do well to be reminded of as well is: Examine your assumptions!

    This was a thoroughly enjoyable podcast. Thanks, John and David!

  2. Personally I’m surprised the Danites didn’t break in on the proceedings to capture the insurgents and frog-march both David and John down to Temple Square handcuffed. While at gun point (using the original Porter Rockwell snub nosed assignation guns) David should have been shackled to the legs of the bronze effigy of Joe Smith.

    David should have been bound both hand and foot and Testimony Gloves taped to his hands while lying prostrate at the Prophet’s Feet. With the Liahona placed between his legs he should have been left until he begs for mercy, cries for forgiveness, pleads for water and promises everlasting humility while the Liahona radiates its awesome rays through David Michael’s loins.

    John should have been stripped and tied to wheels of the bronze Handcart Sculpture and smeared with lime jello to linger while the bees, flies and ants have their way with him.
    Let me tell you, if Brigham had been in charge this would have been only the beginning.
    Lucky for them, the Danites were off in the provinces putting down other rebellions propagated by the homosexual marriage debacle.

    Looks like the whole event went off swimmingly, thanks to the diversions created by the gay movement and the awesome grace of God.

    Pax to all,

    ephima

  3. Anybody can mock. So much for a serious reading. It’s evidently just research for a comedy act. Disappointing.

    1. Perhaps you’d care to give a reading with appropriate solemnity. I’d listen to that if just to hear what it sounds like to a person who is able to believe the outrageous claims in it.

      And I say that in all sincerity. If you’re willing to please post a link.

      1. “appropriate solemnity” —- Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Let’s not forget, the Book of Mormon is a complete work of fiction, from page 1 to the end. What ‘appropriate solemnity’ is due such a false laughingstock? That book has damaged a lotttttt of people and family relationships over the years. It deserves complete derision.

  4. I guess when a person approaches scripture from a “prove it to me” attitude or mocking words in the text without considering the principles trying to be taught could hardly put a person in a position where God would either confirm or deny the truthfulness of the record. Faith is the moving force that results in change, and I don’t see David as a person seeking truth with faith. My reading of the Book of Mormon has increased my faith in Christ and has explained doctrine that has made me a better person. The Book of Mormon encourages righteous living. Understanding God’s plan of salvation helps us withstand the evils of this world. Evil is on the march. I appreciate John’s attempt to draw something good out of David’s reading. David didn’t address any exposition of doctrine within the Book of Mormon. He didn’t discuss King Benjamin, for example. If God is involved in his children’s lives and wants to help them, the Book of Mormon is such a book. I challenge anyone to write an exposition on baptism that matches Nephi’s in 2 Nephi 31. And seeking the spirit in 2 Nephi 32. Approaching scripture with an eye of faith changes the experience. This is true of the Bible as well as the Book of Mormon. Would God bring forth a book that is easily proven other than from a position of faith? If you have direct evidence, then there is no faith required, and faith is the moving force of God. The evidence of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon is the faith it creates. If one is mocking it as they read it, then what you get is reading without seeing the purpose behind the stories.

    1. While I can appreciate the clearly Mormon perspective of Dallas, I think he is missing part of the point. David Michael approached the Book of Mormon as a thinking non-Mormon would. You don’t just pick up a religious, ideological or political book and read it with wide open “faith.” Would Dallas pick up Dianetics and read it with utter faith leading to a conversion to Scientology? Why should a non-Mormon exercise “faith” in the Book of Mormon in the face of mountains of evidence against it?

      Plus, let’s be fair, David put the book to the test, taking up Moroni’s challenge. God didn’t respond. I think that it is unfair to point out David’s “attitude” as the reason God didn’t respond when the Book of Mormon itself is full of examples of God directly and super-naturally responding to all sorts of people who have bad attitudes: Laman/Lemuel and Alma the Younger being two obvious cases.

      I’m not sure you can indisputably state that the Book of Mormon encourages righteous living. Nephi murders a helpless Laban. Ammon kills and maims sheep thieves/hooligans. Captain Moroni wrongly threatens to take the government down while falsely accusing Pahoran of treason. Captain Moroni also goes back on his negotiated word with Amalickiah out of anger. These are the “heroes” of the Book of Mormon and yet they are clearly doing things wrong and although no man is perfect, this book puts forth these people as role models for righteous living.

      Dallas challenges anyone to write a comparable religious exposition. This is reminiscent of the challenge set forth in D&C 67:5-8. The logic is basically, “So, you think this is trash? Well, go ahead and try to write something better.” I’m not a writer but I can tell you that there are amazing sermons, speeches, and “expositions” out there that are far superior to anything written in the Book of Mormon. Robinson’s “Believing Christ” is a sublime explanation of the atonement compared to the fumbling attempts of both the Book of Mormon and modern day prophets. The Mormon doctrine of works vs. grace is confusing at best and Robinson nailed it, making it accessible to the common person.

      Dallas said: “Approaching scripture with an eye of faith changes the experience.” I say approaching scripture with a focus on evidence, logic, and reason also changes the experience and challenge any faith-based person to put that experience to the test.

      Finally, throughout his response, Dallas focuses much on a faith perspective that frankly leads us to suspect that the God of Mormonism is a tricky, deceptive, and spiteful deity. He temporarily erases our memories of pre-mortal life, he gives us unbelievable stories (e.g. Noah, the ark and flood) and condemns us if we don’t believe, he unnecessarily makes the golden plates available centuries later for Joseph but Joseph uses a peep stone in a hat to translate the book and then God takes the plates away, further more, God has scrubbed the American continent of any evidence of this massive, millions-strong, thousand year long civilization…all to prove our faith. My parents did not treat me this way. I will not treat my children this way. And yet we are supposed to model our lives after the parenting of our Heavenly Father? I am frustrated with the Mormon concept of faith that demands blind adherence with no other basis in evidence other than warm feelings in your “heart.”

      David Michael is witty, insightful, and gave the Book of Mormon and honest chance. What you see in his perspective of the book is probably representative of what you would get from most thoughtful non-Mormons, even those who are religious in some other faith tradition.

      1. Dave, thank you for the thoughtful response. Yes, I talk about faith because as I see it, one has to be open to the Spirit with a humble spirit. I am not saying David is not humble, I am just say that when Christ taught with parables, some people thought they were good stories but didn’t hear the hidden messages within the parable. The parable of the sower is a good example. A good farmer’s story, but what was Christ trying to teach us about abiding in our new found faith verses being ashamed or unwilling to keep learning and enduring to the end. Those who choose to follow Christ see life through the prism of faith verses those who want physical proof. The Book of Mormon itself shows that miracles don’t guarantee a spirit conversion, and David talked about this but missed the point about Laman and Lemuel who were not converted even though they had angels visit them.
        Let’s talk DNA. If God changed the color of the Lamanites’ skin, then he changed their DNA and the Nephites were wiped out. As for evidence of the Book of Mormon, the people on the Pacific Islands believe in a white god who promised to return. Peruvians believe in the same being, something recently discovered. The Catholic priests burned and destroyed 3,000 volumes of Aztec records, so we can’t read their secular history. Hopi Indians wore a temple garment like Mormons and Orthodox Jews. They thought the Spanish who came to New Mexico was the white God who promised to return. Hawaiians believe in Lono, the white God. King Benjamin’s sermon is not something to skip over, and Enos’ account of his repentance and conversion is a great Christian conversion story. General Moroni didn’t have HF radio contact with his government so he didn’t know what was going on back home. And baptism of infants is a real problem because it denies the atonement of Christ because it denies the innocence of infants and shows people be accountable for Adam and Eve’s transgression. Anything that reduces a person’s understanding of God’s plan of salvation is not from the Lord. He wants people to have freedom to choose good over evil, because in the choice and in the living the commandments develops God-like character. Christ was more strict than the watered down talks given by many preachers. He wants a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He commands us to “be ye therefore perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect.” Striving to be our best brings better results than by grace ye are saved and just say “I believe.” Also, People today want to excuse the need for a prophet, but if there ever was a time when we needed divine guidance, it is today. Counterfeits abound. At this very moment, people are killing people because they are not practicing Muslims. Christ taught love thy neighbor as thy self and Muslims don’t believe in repentance, but honor killings, reduced rights for women, etc. The Pope is off making smoke before speaking in a foreign tongue about a God they worship nailed to a cross taking a sacrament they believe to be the actual body of Christ. Baptists have built a church around goodness and dwell on baptism by immersion while Lutherans believe God loves everyone so he will eventually being everyone home to Him. Why would God allow such non-sense to continue? In a way, He is very merciful because he will judge people according to how they dealt with the live in the circumstance he gave them at birth. I would say that in effect, He wants us to show him what we do with what we have. Like the parable of the talents. And the laborers in the vineyard show that he is merciful up nearly until the end. But He wants to accept the truth when it is presented to us, and wants us to humble talk to Him about things specifically. Catholics, and most other Christian denominations don’t teach about personal revelation, but Christ did, he asked who he was and Peter answered and said, “thou art the Christ, the son of the Living God.” And Christ replied, ” Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” What is the rock he is talking about? Was it Peter, or was it that Peter had received personal revelation from the Father about the divinity of Jesus Christ. Catholics say that Peter is the rock, but Peter is a small rock, and rock is a big rock. Your personal testimony is your strength, and God speaks to those who sincerely seek after him. Personal revelation is your strength, so you should humbly seek your own personal revelation. If you seek after a sign, you probably aren’t willing to live up to what is expected of you. Perspective is very important and your willingness to do whatsoever the Father requires of you. My personal testimony was given me when I became willing to do what I was asked to do. Joseph Smith spoke of the faith Abraham had to have to be willing to sacrifice his son. That is a tough example, but as my dad said, there are choices you will make that will separate the men from the boys. Your choice to live the law of tithing requires much faith, particularly when it seems like that would be the straw that broke your financial camel’s back. But I testify that the Lord has fulfilled his promise–“prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

        11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

        12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.”

        He has kept His promise to me and my family.

        “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another.” This is true.

        1. Maybe you need some vacation time. A leisurely horse drawn chariot ride through the BOM lands might be nice. Be sure to wear a steel helmet.

          1. Yes, BOM-land puts Disneyland to shame, and with your own Liahona you don’t even need Apps for your phone.
            You get to meet and shake hands with all major characters and relatives in the BOM including the most white and delightsome facsimile of Jesus,
            but remember what Voltaire said: ‘Those who believe absurdities will commit atrocities.’

        2. Easy buddy! It’s apparent this was too much for you to handle. It’s OK for people to disagree with your faith. Not very long ago I believed as blindly as you. For your sake I’d suggest you only look at “church approved” materials. For starters, LDS.org’s gospel topics page and read the essays. I did and it destroyed my faith developed over 38 years. Funny how dishonesty will do that. Just believe and have faith I was always told. Ahhhhh that’s just anti-mormon, they’d say. Just have faith! Faith in what? Lies? Nevermind the man behind the curtain. Be careful Neo, taking the red pill and seeing the truth, if you’ll let yourself, will set you free and possibly make you puke! “I’ll I’m offering you is the truth”.

          “By their fruits ye shall know them”. Lies and cover ups…..stinky rotten fruit. Polyandry, polygamy, rock in a hat, printing press destroyed, adultery, attempted murders, murders, pedophilia, king of the world, lying, bigotry, slavery, etc, etc, etc….. “By their fruits ye shall know them”. You ended with, ” This is true”. Unfortunately, so is that.

        3. Dallas, can’t seem to find any evidence of several of the claims you make above, specifically about the Hawaiian God Lono being the “white God.” It appears that at one point the Hawaiians believed Captain James Cook was the God of Lono for several possible reasons: the sails and masts on his ship resembled imagery of the God, Captain Cook and his men happened to arrive to the island during the island’s celebration of Lono, and just because he appeared to be a “distinguished being” in the right place at the right time (though this would end up getting him murdered in an interesting twist).

          Do you have any links or citations on the claims you make above?

        4. Deus ex machina

          Any discrepancy between BOM and objective, scientific reality can always be explained away with a magic wand.

          This is why I stopped arguing with believing Mormons way back in the early ’90s when I attended the U. The ability of people to construct towering edifices of tortured explanations to support what they WANT to believe will never cease to amaze me.

        5. “What is the rock he is talking about?” It is a play on Peter’s name, which means “rock” in Greek. Yes, Joseph Smith said it was revelation, but how does the text justify this?

        6. Dallas, I appreciate your sincere posts. God changing DNA is one I’ve not heard before. I can not get my head around the reason God would try to trick or deceive us by altering DNA. Does he only want stupid people in HIS church? I’m seriously wondering about this.

        7. When you understand that a challenge to read the Quran and/or the Bhagavad Gita with full faith that you shall receive a witness that Mohamed is a true prophet of God or that the Bhagavad Gita is a holy book of eternal truths leading to a life of Dharma is apparently ludicrous at best, then you would understand David Michael’s conclusions about the BOM.

    2. “Approaching scripture with an eye of faith changes the experience.” This sounds to me that one should read it assuming it is true. But there is so much evidence against this that one would have to be fooling himself if he did this. So David took the “impartial” approach and read it making no assumptions. His reactions (specially the ones when he reads the introduction) are PRICELESS. He sees right through the story and eventually gets to the million-dollar question : “People actually believe this happened?”

      Yep, worth the subscription to his podcast!

      1. I am embarrassed by having been SOO duped. I realized that sections of the BoM were copied from the King James version of the Bible, but I was in too deep to question that enough. Donna Ryan, Ex-Mormon

  5. What!? This is Earth shattering. A snarky, radio comedian mocks the book of mormon with a podcast — even to the tune of reading it with “drinking games” — and he received no witness? Say it isn’t so.

    Sigh…

    1. Mr Michael is a businessman not a radio comedian. His basic motive for his podcast – and mine for listening to it – was to find out what the basic founding document of a small-to-medium sized but interesting religious group was all about in its own words. He comments on what he finds positive (and sometimes he does – despite the general tone of this interview!), negative or just plain incredible.

      To those who know the Bible well, as Joseph Smith did of course, a lot of it is going to seem pretty much a re-iteration of oft-cited themes. So where the Book of Mormon is distinctive is what’s going to leap out at both the podcaster and to a listener like me. Unfortunately, the main one of those (overt 19th-century racism) is not terribly impressive. The tales of Captain Moroni and other heroes are interesting but for me don’t provide any distinctive positive spiritual truths. Sorry.

      For those who are believing Mormons – if it works for you then that’s great. You have a really interesting culture and I’m no more inclined to scorn it than I would any other similar culture. The only issue comes where this adversely affects individuals within the culture or wishing to leave it. You’re a long way ahead of the Scientologists there but perhaps some way behind the Society of Friends (Quakers).

      Was the book ever likely to convert David – no. But had he found the BOM an impressive work of literature with profound original spiritual truths on each page then I’m pretty sure he would have ended up producing a very different podcast or just have given up early on. Had it been virtually unreadable or incomprehensible then he would also have given up early on.

      Just my reading of the podcast. The latter is a lot more nuanced than Todd’s knee-jerk reaction might suggest.

  6. Fun interview.

    David stumbled across a great, funny way to enlighten mormons about the book of mormon. It’s nice to hear that for some mormons hearing a non-mormon’s take on the book of mormon helps them realize it’s not what they were taught – at least not to the rest of the world. As a non-mormon, I’ve listened to TBM’s drone on about the genius of Joseph Smith and the miracle of the Book of Mormon. David pierced that bunk with comedy.

    I’ve heard of escaping mormonism through history, but escaping mormonism through humor – love it!

  7. I’m sorry but I enjoyed the honesty and the bom is not my favorite read. With comments like the torture vigilante for Brigham makes me see why I was wondering for so long are these people nuts? The thing that counts in this message was delivered well. I’m trying to take the best from the church and leave the hate behind. My advice to tbm the rest of the world thinks your no better than the wack jobs at the scientology temple in Hollywood so lighten up and realize it’s just fiction.

  8. After listening to David read the Book Of Mormon It made me realize that it was missing one very important thing. Mormonism. It is pretty much faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance and don’t commit whoredomes . One could say that it tell us to follow the prophets and “by there fruits ye shall know them.” What are those fruits? Polygamy with all it side effects. High End Malls, Apartment buildings and Expensive Temples. Nice craftsmanship the church must be true.

    1. Is the really your view of the restored church of Jesus Christ? Did you know that at the time of Brigham Young, a young man he met in Brigham City, told Brigham that he wanted to study medicine and Brigham told him to study law instead, which he did. Brigham hated lawyers, but that young man went on to save the church of being seized by the Federal Government when it came in because of polygamy. If you are a Bible believing Christian, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with polygamy because the greatest prophets were given more than one wife. Our ways are not God’s ways, and it is very apparent when society has gone off the track when it chooses LGBT rights over the importance of a family with a mom and dad who are to raise their children in righteousness. Silly mortals think they are God and don’t think beyond their own desires.

      1. Orthodox Mormons often lack empathy for progressive and post-Mormons, viewing anything they say with suspicion, labeling them “apostate”, and minimizing their life experience with trite sayings like “you’re just in a phase…eventually, you’ll come back.”

        Dallas, your comments triggered those feelings in me. Perhaps you’re just trolling, but I thought it might demonstrate the lack of empathy shown in your comment by turning it around.

        First , your anecdote about Brigham Young and the lawyer sounds like an anti-ex-Mormon lie. Do you have a reference for that? Is the reference from a trusted source? Even if it is true, I’m sure it was taken out of context…things were different back then and we can’t project our cultural perspective back to those times. Regardless, you cannot shake my testimony of post-Mormonism with faith-demoting stories like that one as I know what I’ve learned is true and I’m sure God will sort it all out in heaven.

        Second, as a Bible believing Christian…yea and verily, even a Bible thumping Christian, I believe everything contained within those inspired and precious pages including the fact that wives are property and as you said, God gave that property (said wives) to the greatest of the prophets. In fact, it was a clear measuring stick of the greatness of a prophet: how many wives that prophet had. Brigham had over 50 wife-properties. Clearly he was a superior prophet to Joseph Smith who only had 34 wife-properties. Some prophets, while still acceptable in God’s eyes, were somewhat deficient in the wife-property category: Nephi, Abinadi, and Thomas Monson, for example, each only had one wife-property. My belief in the bible is deep and abiding on the teaching’s espoused therein regarding the acceptability of slavery, the fact that women should not speak in church, and, yea, even the righteous principle of slaying your enemies after you have subjected them.

        Third, I am grateful that you brought up the importance of the family. It is critical that children have two loving parents. That is why I was so happy about the recent supreme court decision that facilitates children having two legal parents and being raised in loving, stable families. I am grateful that the inspired document: “The Family, A Proclamation to the World”, makes this so clear: “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony….” Initially, I felt that children should be taken away from single parent families in the interest of the children’s welfare, but was impressed by the understanding and empathy found within the proclamation in this statement: “Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation.” I felt so much joy inside to see the Brethren, yea, even the Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledging that children shouldn’t be taken away from single parent households and placed within more stable, two parent gay married households.

  9. Wow! Great job John!

    This was seriously the best episode ever! David is very entertaining and his logical views of mormonism are spot-on! You two should co-host a interview or some kind of discussion soon. I love his views on everything! Can’t wait to start listening to Davids podcast.

    John, you should have linked his website in the description. Here it is for others who are interested http://mybookofmormonpodcast.com/

  10. The only comment i have is that whenever i read the Book of Mormon I feel the Holy Spirit. I never have felt it as strongly anywhere els.

  11. I listened yesterday to the podcast and was greatly entertained. Very funny. He did better much better than Mark Twain at exploiting the humor inherent in a non-believers approach. Of course, his purpose was to mock the book for humor’s sake. However, he found as he mocked the book that ex-Mormons found his humor and mockery therapeutic.

    What I found most curious was his mockery of God. He accused God of not being humble because God demanded that we worship him and give glory to him. He mocked that God sought glory in the worship of human beings. He claimed instead the right to his own self-esteem and found humiliating himself before God to be a horrible way to live. This gained a rousing ovation from the audience. This audience of Ex-Mormons loved his mockery because it supported the doubts that led them to separate themselves from the church. It was therapeutic to them because they doubt their departure. They are to some degree caught between belief and unbelief and the mocker helped them by asserting that they only believed in the first place because they were raised in a culture that demanded belief and therefore their nagging doubts about their departure are just cultural artifacts, not any spiritual guilt for departing from the truth. These Ex-Mormons seem to feel their guilt more acutely than other Christians but they need not. The truth of Christianity is ludicrous. It was ludicrous for Abraham to believe that he and Sarah could have a child at their advance age. Most of ludicrous of all is the claim that Jesus rose from the dead. Yet that is the hope of Christians. Hope is not hope unless we hope in a world we cannot see or now understand, a world transformed by some laws we do not yet know. The idea of an unseen world of microscopic germs on the hands of doctors was once mocked by other doctors who refused to believe that they were killing women following childbirth.

    But this mockery of God was startling to me. Is God to be blamed for commanding our worship of him? I had known how hard it was for a loving person to hear God proclaim that he had destroyed many cities and their inhabitants at the death of his Son as spoken of in Third Nephi. I understand how difficult the concept of a God that can destroy and does destroy can be. I see that God’s power to destroy seems so at odds with what he expects of us just as his commandment that we worship him and give him glory is so at odds with how we must conduct ourselves with others. A friend’s insight is important here. God demands our worship because humans must worship, must idolize. If we do not worship God, we will worship a man and that brings war. Any worshipped human wages war on all those who refuse to worship. As Rene Girard has demonstrated in his many books, mimetic desire is the very essence of human action and conflict. We imitate the prestigious so we can gain their prestige. We wear their clothes, do their hair styles, wear their jerseys, imitate their business plans, pattern our speech after theirs, adopt their thinking and roar with approval at their disdain of the humble. We compete with others for the approval of our model and that competition brings strife and conflict which turns to violence which violence is only harnessed by the man most prestigious, most worshipped, most violent. However, if we imitate and follow Christ, then that conflict is avoided. This is why we worship Christ. And that is why humility works and why pride brings conflict, why the mocker was wrong to spurn humility.

    This morning I wondered what the mocker would say if presented with the words of Moroni in Ether12:25-27 of the Book of Mormon lamenting that his weakness in placing words would cause the Gentiles to mock. This scripture seems to anticipate the mocker himself. God’s response was that men have weakness so that they might humble themselves and allow God to make their weaknesses strong.

    The religious message of the Book of Mormon assumes an unseen world transformed by faith in an unseen God, society transformed into the very ideals of liberalism: no poor, no violence, love of the least esteemed of society. Why would Joseph go to so much trouble to deceive us into believing that of all things?

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.