LDSanswers.org

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
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RubinHighlander
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LDSanswers.org

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:42 pm

http://www.ldsanswers.org/dominant-chur ... ew-church/

See the new face of apologetics. They claim the answers are coming, that they don't take the Bushman approach to a new narrative. I'm guessing we'll need to prepare ourselves to judge some new or perhaps just modified tricks in the next several mental gymnastics meets.
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Not Buying It
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Not Buying It » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:54 am

Yawn. It's the same thing as FAIR with a better website and more pictures. It's still trying to get me to feel OK about Joseph Smith messing around with teenage girls, still peddling the same "yeah it was perfectly normal for 14 year old girls to marry older men back in those days" red herring defense of the indefensible. Like any other LDS apologetics website, it is an affront to common sense and is a sinister attempt to subvert the natural and justifiable feeling that there are things that are very, very wrong with the Church, it's history, and policies. It is an attempt to smother the part of my brain designed to keep me from believing stupid things.

Their byline "facts - fortify - faith" says it all, because the facts aren't on the side of LDS apologetics.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Not Buying It
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Not Buying It » Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:03 am

I mean, get this quote defending Joseph Smith's marriage to Helen Mar Kimball:
An example of teen brides during the Renaissance can be seen in the female protagonist of the famous Shakespearean tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Juliet is only thirteen years old when she secretly marries Romeo...I've heard many criticize Joseph Smith for his marriage to Helen Mar Kimball, but I’ve never heard a public outcry demanding a cancellation of theatrical performances of Romeo and Juliet.
Well, yeah, Romeo wasn't a 37 year old married man. Who led a Church. Who was considered to be a prophet by his followers. Who used his position in the Church and member's belief he was a prophet to get sex from women. Their ability to justify marriages to underage women is dubious, but they completely sidestep the issues of marital fidelity and the power dynamics of sexual pressure by a dominant figure on his subordinates. The fact she was 14 is only part of a very big problem.

Ah, never mind, they've convinced me, I'm cool with Jospeh Smith and his harem of women, it's all good.
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Mormorrisey
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Mormorrisey » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:08 am

My curses upon you all, for tempting me to waste the time I did reading some of this drivel. I thought FAIR was bad enough, but this is an entire waste of time. I finally had enough, as you did Not Buying It, after reading that article on Helen Mar Kimball. Not only does the author (looks like the spouse of the guy running things) try to normalize the not normal, but just uses medieval and Renaissance figures to prove her point, not what marriage looked like in North America in the 19th century. Which, and I don't know the American figures, but the partners in marriages in British North America (Canada) were often quite old, the average age of marriages being in the mid-20s; and while there were some 14 year old brides, it certainly wasn't the norm. So as I was want to do, I looked up the author and what she has done, and caught this little nugget:
....was home and privately educated. She has worked as a graphic design artist, software developer, videographer, project manager and research assistant. She has also authored and edited hundreds of articles on the Web. Her research supports the writings and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets.
So I gather from this that A) she wasn't trained as a historian and B) she has an agenda of "supporting the writing and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets." Well, OK then. So why should I listen to you and bag what Bushman has to say, who has been trained as a historian and knows the facts? This was just SO bad. Thanks for ruining what was shaping up to be a pretty good day. :lol:
"And I don't need you...or, your homespun philosophies."
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RubinHighlander
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:49 am

Mormorrisey wrote:Thanks for ruining what was shaping up to be a pretty good day. :lol:
Sorry dudes! Misery loves company. I didn't even make it as deep as you two did on that site. I feel guilty, like I created a fishing scam for you two by putting that link up there. But thanks for digging out the stinky nuggets of this appologetic.org dung pile. Just the feel of the site had that Julie Roweish soccer mom saves the church feel to it.

The problem with all these sites (even Bushman's educated but still TBM approach) is that they are not the COB, yet they attempt to provide answers beyond essays and GC talks. The truth and facts against the church stir up the CogDis for those TBMs who brave a peek behind the Zion curtain, or rally those troops in the trenches who feel it's their duty to defend, even beyond the call from their leaders. This plays into the "we are the special chosen generation, saved for the last days" narrative. It's amazing and disturbing to me that I was once part of that madness!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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Deepthinker
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Deepthinker » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:47 am

Took a quick look and it does seem awful. I didn't see any answers.

Answers that don't hold up to further questioning are not really answers anyway.

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Corsair
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Corsair » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:03 am

I also add my cursing upon RubinHighlander for discovering yet another trove of terrible apologetics. But I believe I have somehow progressed enough to prioritize this information below other important issues like catching up on "Westworld".

What we really need is to have the Stoddard family of LDSAnswers.org engage in an online debate with Laura and Brian Hales of "A Reason for Faith" or with Richard Bushman. The debate needs to be moderated by the PR department of the LDS church and I want closing commentary by Dan Peterson. While reading this I will do a shot whenever one side uses logical reasoning to counter the claims of the other side.

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Just This Guy
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Just This Guy » Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:48 am

Mormorrisey wrote:My curses upon you all, for tempting me to waste the time I did reading some of this drivel. I thought FAIR was bad enough, but this is an entire waste of time. I finally had enough, as you did Not Buying It, after reading that article on Helen Mar Kimball. Not only does the author (looks like the spouse of the guy running things) try to normalize the not normal, but just uses medieval and Renaissance figures to prove her point, not what marriage looked like in North America in the 19th century. Which, and I don't know the American figures, but the partners in marriages in British North America (Canada) were often quite old, the average age of marriages being in the mid-20s; and while there were some 14 year old brides, it certainly wasn't the norm. So as I was want to do, I looked up the author and what she has done, and caught this little nugget:
....was home and privately educated. She has worked as a graphic design artist, software developer, videographer, project manager and research assistant. She has also authored and edited hundreds of articles on the Web. Her research supports the writings and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets.
So I gather from this that A) she wasn't trained as a historian and B) she has an agenda of "supporting the writing and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets." Well, OK then. So why should I listen to you and bag what Bushman has to say, who has been trained as a historian and knows the facts? This was just SO bad. Thanks for ruining what was shaping up to be a pretty good day. :lol:

A month or so ago I was car shopping with DW because I hit a deer on the interstate that totaled my previous car. We visited a Nissan dealership to look at some Altimas. Talking to the sales guy, he spent a few minutes talking about how great the Altima was listed in Consumer Reports for mileage and some other things. I asked about what Nissan was doing to address all the complaints that they were getting with the reliability of their CVT's. HE was surprised by this. He had never heard of any reliability problems with their cars. He asked where I heard about this. I told him about a bulletin that Consumer Reports put out specifically saying they did not recommend Altimas due to a large amount of complaints about their transmissions. The sales guy went into deference mode saying "You can't trust everything you read on the internet." To this DW responded, "So are you are saying I shouldn't trust the Consumer Reports that you just cited for mileage because they are on the internet?" (Never argue with that girl if you don't have good sources, she will have your for lunch.) Eventually he went on to say that he had never heard of any CVT issues on "that car." Once again, DW went after him for changing his story from before since obviously some Nissans had transmission problems. He couldn't recover from this. In the end we walked out disgusted and took our cash sale with us.

The reason I bring this up, this person is applying the same logic as the car dealer tried to pull. They say that comparing JSJ to modern standards is not valid because we have nearly 200 years between us. However, they cite for proof that it was acceptable that Shakespeare (who's historical existence is doubtful) did it. That would have been over 200 years before JSJ. So by their own logic, you cannot use the evidence that they cite.

Talk about moving the goal posts. When it doesn't serve their purposes, then they argument is invalid, but when it does, then the standards change. Pure car salesman tactics.
"The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." -- Douglas Adams

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Red Ryder
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:11 am

I kind of like the guy. Can you believe he has 10 kids?

You can see his entrepreneurial spirit shine through his bio. He even has his own imdb page that says the exact same thing as his bio on LDSanswers.

In a way I think he represents the sentimental nostalgic side of the church I used to long for. The days when Joseph was monogamously married to Emma, chased by mobs because he was righteous, and a presidential mitt Romney like candidate? Joseph was the man! We worshipped the guy! Sang praise to his name!

Now with all the information on the internet floating around, Joseph's sexual escapades and shenanigans, hidden versions of the first vision, and dozens of white washed accounts of history, well, let's be honest and acknowledge it creates a little bit of doubt about the Prophet. Did he just make it all up to bed all of the women?

Unfortunately for Brother Stoddard the 3rd, the world moves forward and organizations can no longer hide their secrets. The internet will bring forth the truth while his little site will struggle to keep any normal person from leaving. Comparisons to Romeo and Juliet just won't work.

As Shakespeare once said, “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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RubinHighlander
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:28 am

Corsair wrote:I also add my cursing upon RubinHighlander for discovering yet another trove of terrible apologetics...While reading this I will do a shot whenever one side uses logical reasoning to counter the claims of the other side.
I"ll be happy to provide the liquid refreshments for this event. I have high-end vodka I brought back from Russia and many fine locally distilled spirits in my food storage.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:48 am

Red Ryder wrote:I kind of like the guy. Can you believe he has 10 kids?

You can see his entrepreneurial spirit shine through his bio. He even has his own imdb page that says the exact same thing as his bio on LDSanswers.

In a way I think he represents the sentimental nostalgic side of the church I used to long for. The days when Joseph was monogamously married to Emma, chased by mobs because he was righteous, and a presidential mitt Romney like candidate? Joseph was the man! We worshipped the guy! Sang praise to his name!

Now with all the information on the internet floating around, Joseph's sexual escapades and shenanigans, hidden versions of the first vision, and dozens of white washed accounts of history, well, let's be honest and acknowledge it creates a little bit of doubt about the Prophet. Did he just make it all up to bed all of the women?

Unfortunately for Brother Stoddard the 3rd, the world moves forward and organizations can no longer hide their secrets. The internet will bring forth the truth while his little site will struggle to keep any normal person from leaving. Comparisons to Romeo and Juliet just won't work.

As Shakespeare once said, “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
His bio says that in addition to home education and web development, he has also worked in natural health.

"James spends all his free time working on Highland Cathedral Estate, a planned family retreat and learning facility with perennial gardens and walking trails specializing in experimental farming techniques and four season food production"

I wonder if he has an investment opportunity to discuss with me during the next ward temple night.

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wtfluff
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by wtfluff » Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:09 pm

Nope.

Not gonna click the link.

Not.
Even.
Once.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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RubinHighlander
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by RubinHighlander » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:17 pm

wtfluff wrote: Not.
Even.
Once.
Come on Fluff! All your Nomish friends are doing it! Don't doubt your doubts before you click the links!
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

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Korihor
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Korihor » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:33 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:http://www.ldsanswers.org/dominant-chur ... ew-church/

See the new face of apologetics. They claim the answers are coming, that they don't take the Bushman approach to a new narrative. I'm guessing we'll need to prepare ourselves to judge some new or perhaps just modified tricks in the next several mental gymnastics meets.
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Hagoth » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:59 pm

I think this is great. Believing members are beginning to fight among themselves about whose version of the truth is truest. The church seems to be putting quite a bit of stock in Bushman, the Givenses, and others who they think can smooth over the wrinkles but now we have people rising up in rebellion against the answer-givers. Faithful apologetics vs. "reconstructionist" apologetics. Get ready to rumble! The problem that will soon become obvious is that the awesome answers they are promising will turn out to be mostly denial and slandering of sources that don't support the fiction, and they'll be fighting on two fronts.

At the bottom of the main page they're asking for volunteers to help assemble their mighty bulwark of answers. Maybe we should all sign up.

p.s. should we tell them Romeo and Juliet are fictional characters?
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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wtfluff
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by wtfluff » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:14 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
wtfluff wrote: Not.
Even.
Once.
Come on Fluff! All your Nomish friends are doing it! Don't doubt your doubts before you click the links!
Well... I've already got enough anger issues with The Corporation, I don't think I need to exacerbate them any further.

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Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Corsair » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:42 pm

Well, I did a foolish thing. I decided to read one of their answers and see how it stacks up. Then I decided to abuse an hour of my time and write up a review of this essay. I read the essay entitled: How could Joseph Smith’s polyandrous marriages be explained? This seemed like a solid challenge and this article did not disappoint. I am confident that our friends at FairMormon and our friends at reddit/r/exmormon might actually agree with each other that this article is insane in both it's condescending attitude towards doubters and its inability to provide a satisfying answer.

At least it starts by presenting the question well:
Why would the Lord command Joseph Smith to be sealed to women who were already married? What right did Joseph Smith have to “take” these women? When viewed in the light of the Biblical record and the premortal life, the issue is more easily resolved. We are not proposing that the following two explanations are the only answers surrounding the issue of “polyandry”. Instead, these two perspectives are “pieces” to the puzzle of understanding the Kingdom of God.
Well stated! Of course, you better get one thing straight right up front:
Before beginning, please note that the following article deals with subject matter that is extremely sacred. These subjects should not be spoken of without the utmost reverence. We mention them here because of concerns that have been raised with Joseph Smith.
Oh, so that's why modern prophets don't talk about this. It's another "sacred, not secret" doctrine that is best not muddied in front of skeptics. The last paragraph once again proclaims that you are a narrow minded dolt if you don't understand what is going on.
Could it be that in our 21st century arrogance, in our modernist repulsion to Joseph Smith’s actions, we have missed understanding who we were, who we are and who we can become? We would submit that one day we will discover that Joseph Smith’s greatest “crimes” are in reality a powerful testimony to the greatness of his character and understanding.
Now that we have that paradox out of the way here are the actual two reasons why "ldsanswers.org" is confident that nothing naughty was going on with polyandry. First, Mary, the mother of Jesus was also in a polyandrous relationship with Joseph and with Heavenly Father. Jesus the Christ was born of Mary and Elohim. But then Mary was later married to Joseph and that makes polyandry OK since it was a good enough arrangement for Jesus' mother and father and Father. The essay quotes early prophets including Brigham Young who sounds like he was only on sentence away from rolling out the "Adam-God" doctrine in "Journal of Discourses 8:115". This explanation is summed up in this paragraph:
Joseph Smith is the witness of Jesus Christ. We are not surprised that his life contains elements paralleling the Son of God. Joseph Smith’s involvement in polyandry is a witness for his prophetic calling, not against.
Now that you have some blindsided background on "good reason number one for polyandry" you are ready to afflict yourself with the second reason. Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner testified that the marriage relationships between Joseph and his polyandrous wives (like herself) were established in the pre-mortal world:
Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner wrote:Joseph said I was his before I came here and he said all the Devils in Hell should never get me from him.
Oh good, Joseph said it was A-OK. I'm glad that she had a firm testimony of this relationship with Joseph Smith. Sister Lightner goes on to say:
Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner wrote:But he was again commanded to fulfill the first revelation or suffer condemnation, for I was created for him before the foundation of the earth was laid.
So it was completely set up in the pre-mortal world along with other doctrines that are too sacred for heretics like us. The fact that it looks sketchy to you is that you are an arrogant modernist lacking a proper testimony of the divine mission of Joseph Christ, er Smith.

I'll be honest and state that some of the apologetic answers in FairMormon.org are actually pretty good. Many explanations are honest, well researched and do a fine job of covering difficult subjects. Some faithful answers have made me pause and consider my positions as well as convince me to do more study. However, this is in sharp contrast to the ad hoc silliness being promulgated by Hannah Stoddard, the author of this essay. I fear that Sister Stoddard would be horrified to note that I am now firmer in my resolve to avoid the LDS church for rest of my mortal existence.

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Not Buying It
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Not Buying It » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:58 am

See, philosophically websites like this pose a dilemma for me. I suppose it isn't really my business if people choose to live in a fantasy world where you can normalize Joseph Smith's aberrant sexual behavior and even twist it into an evidence of his prophetic calling. If someone wants to ignore all of the red flags, fine.

Does it make me an uncaring human being, though, if I don't care enough about my believing brothers and sisters to let them know they are being boondoggled by this kind of nonsense? I struggle with this - should we respect our sisters' and brothers' right to believe in nonsense, or do we challenge this kind of thinking when we see it? Is it more kind to just let them believe what they want to believe if they are happy with it? Or is it more kind to try and help them feel the freedom of leaving all the mental gymnastics and trying to defend the indefensible behind?
"The truth is elegantly simple. The lie needs complex apologia. 4 simple words: Joe made it up. It answers everything with the perfect simplicity of Occam's Razor. Every convoluted excuse withers." - Some guy on Reddit called disposazelph

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Hagoth
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by Hagoth » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:06 am

Not Buying It wrote:I struggle with this - should we respect our sisters' and brothers' right to believe in nonsense, or do we challenge this kind of thinking when we see it? Is it more kind to just let them believe what they want to believe if they are happy with it? Or is it more kind to try and help them feel the freedom of leaving all the mental gymnastics and trying to defend the indefensible behind?
For the most part, I'm fine with anyone believing whatever wacky bulls***t they want if it makes life more meaningful for them. What I have a hard time with is the arrogance that often accompanies those bulls***t beliefs and the insistence that everyone who doesn't believe said bulls***t is either stupid or evil.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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deacon blues
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Re: LDSanswers.org

Post by deacon blues » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:18 am

Hagoth wrote:
Not Buying It wrote:I struggle with this - should we respect our sisters' and brothers' right to believe in nonsense, or do we challenge this kind of thinking when we see it? Is it more kind to just let them believe what they want to believe if they are happy with it? Or is it more kind to try and help them feel the freedom of leaving all the mental gymnastics and trying to defend the indefensible behind?
For the most part, I'm fine with anyone believing whatever wacky bulls***t they want if it makes life more meaningful for them. What I have a hard time with is the arrogance that often accompanies those bulls***t beliefs and the insistence that everyone who doesn't believe said bulls***t is either stupid or evil.
Yep. :)
God is Love. God is Truth

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