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  1. Liked the calculator analogy. I’m an electrical engineer who designs electronic equipment for US defense applications. If my boss gave me a calculator that was right 99% of the time and told me that it was the best calculator he could give me, I would throw it out and tell him that pen and paper are now my calculator. It would take me 100 times longer to calculate and verify things, but my boss would tell me I made the right choice, and so would every other engineer in the world, believing and non-believing. The consequences of possibly ever being wrong, even 1% of the time, are too great a risk. Imagine a world in which everything was built with calculators that were right 99% of the time. Planes and cars would crash, buildings would collapse, satellites would collide, rocket ships would overshoot the moon into infinite space. If you understand how vital precision is to things like initial conditions and their consequences in real-world calculations, you know that this is no exaggeration. The modern world would be a chaotic mess.
    These consequences are infinitesimally small, though, compared with eternity. The prophet’s instructions have eternal consequences. If I am rejecting a tool that is only incorrect 1% of the time for temporal applications, why would I ever rely on a prophet who’s incorrect 1% of the time when the consequences are conceivably eternal?

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    2. Let me play Devil’s advocate here. If you have a calculator that is correct 99% of the time, and you do your calculations twice. It becomes correct 99.99% of the time, throw in a 3rd calculation for good measure and you are correct 99.9999% of the time. Frankly we have no tools in existence that are 100% accurate. There are ways to mitigate tools that are not perfect to reduce risk of failure. So goes the Mormon church it can be used as an efficient tool, but it’s vital that you understand the shortcomings.

      1. Sure, but then every organized religion has the same utility, and the special sauce Mormonism claims to provide is exposed as invalid. That’s been the frustrating part of listening to the apologetic defense of prophets from the get go. It’s inconsistent, contradictory, and argued in bad faith.

  2. God I miss hearing your voice more often John Larsen! Your rant on John’s imagined apologetics was a thing of beauty. Hearing you think through and talk through Mormon theology really is so enjoyable. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

  3. I always enjoy listening to John Larsen. Thanks for bringing him on.

    In the spirit of attempting to do less harm (but at the risk of being obnoxious), I’m going to rant about an extremely minor point in this episode, only because this issue is so pervasive among ex-Mormons and grates so much on me.

    Christianity has always been saturated in anti-Jewish sentiment; it’s very much a part of the New Testament, which in many ways offers us a caricature of Jews. Another site in Christianity where you see this expressed is the very prominent, very popular idea, dating at least back to Marcion, that the god of the Old Testament (the Jewish god) is bad and mean and primitive where the god of the New Testament (the Christian god) is, in contrast, nice and touchy-feely and modern. (Many Christians don’t seem to have gotten the memo that Marcion lost the canon wars, and the god of the Old Testament is officially understood to be–well, their god!) Of course, god’s behavior in the Old Testament is notoriously problematic, and I’m not going to defend genocide or patriarchy or any number of other things; as a believer, I was tormented by these issues. I will argue, though, that the god of the Old Testament is far more complex and far less unequivocally demonic than Christians typically give him credit for–and that the god of the New Testament is as every bit as complex, and every bit as problematic. Let’s not read all of the most difficult parts of the Old Testament and compare them to all of the most beautiful parts of the New Testament. Most of us who were raised in Mormonism or another Christian tradition absorbed a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment without even recognizing it for what it was, but those of us who have left should ask ourselves whether it’s really necessary to make anti-Jewish ideas the cornerstone of our lack of belief as well. Let’s be honest about the fact that god is profoundly morally compromised in every single book of Mormon scripture.

  4. Let me play Devil’s advocate here. If you have a calculator that is correct 99% of the time, and you do your calculations twice. It becomes correct 99.99% of the time, throw in a 3rd calculation for good measure and you are correct 99.9999% of the time. Frankly we have no tools in existence that are 100% accurate. There are ways to mitigate tools that are not perfect to reduce risk of failure. So goes the Mormon church it can be used as an efficient tool, but it’s vital that you understand the shortcomings.

  5. While watching the TV series Lucifer, I kept saying to my non-member wife, “This show is so Mormon”…”Whoever created this Lucifer show has ties to Mormonism”. The show refers to God as the Devil’s father, references Mother in Heaven as the Devil’s mother, has Cain as a character who can’t die, has a good angel as God’s son and the Devil’s brother. So, I searched the internet and found the following:
    Len Wiseman is the executive producer/pilot director. Len was interviewed and said:
    “LEN WISEMAN: Really, the reason I wanted to do this was that it was so different from what I’d done before. I didn’t want to make it so much of a genre show. Even the character was far more grounded with very twisted, dark humor. It’s been so great. It’s really important for you to feel for Lucifer. Is it possible to show a very irreverent portrayal of Lucifer where you actually feel bad for the guy, and what would that be? Some people will embrace it. My family is Mormon. I’m not Mormon, but my family is, and my mom was like, “You’re doing a show called Lucifer?! But I will admit, he is handsome, so I’ll watch it.”
    Hey John, perhaps Len Wiseman would have an interesting Mormon Story to tell? Did he grow up Mormon? Leave the Church?

  6. Just FYI, since Jeff Bezos’ name was invoked during this podcast. Jeff Bezos bought and revitalized the Washington Post, there was no guarantee WAPO would survive without his support.

    Also, the means or production are available to the public, $3,760 per AMZN share currently. 🙂

  7. The church leadership did invite the members to get vaccinated and I know of many members who were not planning on getting vaccinated who got vaccinated based on the church propaganda.

  8. Your guest is giving an excellent presentation and you’re tittering in the background. Shame on you.

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    2. I believe it only portrays a relationship where there is comfort and trust. I actually loved the chilled fun environment 😊

    3. I believe it only portrays a relationship where there is comfort and trust. I actually loved the chilled fun environment 😊

  9. As a donor, I have no issues with the decision to tie the history of the Mormon Church to modern relevance. Active Latter-day Saints pray that prayer every Sunday: “Please bless us that we may be able to take this lesson into our daily lives.”

    Congrats to all three of you in the episode for answering their prayer.

  10. I’ve consumed a whole lot of hours of this podcast. I have always found it to be comforting, funny, informative and a pleasure to listen. This episode was shrill, angry and somehow void of humanity. I did not enjoy this at all.

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      JB – We will not stop doing our regular type of content. I tried to give a warning at the beginning of this episode. Please always feel free to skip the episodes that have a warning, or if you don’t like John Larsen specifically. So sorry this one wasn’t for you.

      1. I will probably still be listening. I think there is a lot of validity to your thoughts that at some point we have to stop wallowing in refuting the truth claims or critique of policy. I think this could be a crucial issue for Mormon Stories right about now.

        My “ah ha moment” was almost a year ago and it feels like about time to say to myself, ok so what next? I can’t believe how hard it is to move forward. But if the answer to that question for Mormon Stories is a path similar to the one John Larsen has taken, I will not likely join you on the journey. There’s just a lot of anger there and that isn’t what I need.

        Regardless, your content has been dare I say a blessing for me. My wife remains faithful and my children are grown so this process has been painfully lonely for me. There is nobody that I can talk to. But you have brought a lot of interesting people that speak to me – thank you.

        1. Fortunately the podcast isn’t geared on your timeline of progression. You say it’s a blessing for you, and has been in your journey. There are the episodes that speak to truth claims with passion. We all need these episodes (I thought this one was fantastic) in our journey. Count yourself down the road with progress, however the vast number of people transitioning and yet to transition is a bigger number than those in your position, and need to hear the basics. Everyone needs a Michael Coe moment, a Robert Ritter moment, Christine Jeppesen Clark moment. Just because you’ve been there and seen that doesn’t mean the entirety of a podcast should shift and follow your need. I’ve followed this series practically since it started as I transitioned out of the church in 2005. I absolutely loved this episode and I’ve followed Larsen listening to every Mormon Expression episode multiple times. I learned a few new things with this episode and love Larsen’s perspective, and for me, my hope of hopes is that Larsen comes back with his old style as it brings peace to this heathen heart.

  11. Damnit John Larsen, you need to repent and come back to us. Best podcast Mr. Dehlin in long time. Loved the relaxed laughter amidst the topics discussed, with fresh perspective that only Larsen can give. Don’t stop doing these. As I mentioned in a comment above, the exmo’s yet to be born outnumber those in existence now, and need to hear these subjects over and over. Keep it up. Any chance of getting Peter Bleakley to sit down with you?

  12. Time with John Larsen is never wasted time. I wish he were my neighbor.

    Thanks so much JD for binging Larsen back on the show. So rich with meaningful discussion.

  13. A few years ago I had to stop listening to your podcasts because I started falling asleep during them. But I thought this had John Larsen! I won’t fall asleep for him! Spoiler alert: I did. Sorry JL. I did go back after my nap and finish it. And I loved what JD said about life and purpose after Mormonism. Deconstruction is just the first step. Finding truth, meaning and real purpose is the hard part especially when that was given to you and you never learned those skills as a Mormon. Seven years out and I’m still on that journey. It’s a complicated journey. I imagine I’ll keep at it until the end.

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  14. I found this episode great to listen to – up to the being over apologetic for the politics -currently the trumpenstein movement is posing a huge risk to our society and they need to be called out for their bad behavior without apology. thank you john larsen for calling it as you see it.

  15. Love to hear some John Larsen, but I’m pretty sure B.H. Roberts didn’t die in a rehab facility in California as a result of alcoholism. Does he have a source for this? Wikipedia says that he died as a result of diabetes, and I can’t find any sources of him struggling with alcohol. Source?

  16. I was put off by angry rants from both Johns, broadbrushing and generalizing political and environmental issues, on which I’d be at polar opposite views. However, the last 20 or so minutes soothed my soul with the heartfelt appeals for positive action. I actually totally agreed with most of the panel’s views and observations as it relates to Mormonism and the current state of things. And I was warmed by John Larsen’s obvious heart of gold that he revealed in those closing minutes – just a teddy bear underneath it all :).

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