If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

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annotatedbom
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If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by annotatedbom » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:13 am

For Come Follow Me, Lesson 25, Jun 22-28, 2020, Alma 17-22

If I wanted to encourage thought and try to understand devout believers better, I might ask:
Can faith be harmful or dangerous?

See the Things to consider for this lesson.

And, here’s a list of some other observations about this lesson’s reading.

Enjoy!
A-Bom

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 am

What if someone took Brigham Young at his word and beheaded a mixed race family because, according to a prophet of God, it would be showing them the greatest kindness and mercy.

What if you heard a voice in your head telling you to sacrifice your son by stabbing him and cutting his throat? Isaac was saved by and angel, but no angel came to the rescue when seminary teacher Rodney Lundberg stabbed his son to death in his Abrahamic test.

What if you heard the voice of God telling you to behead a drunk and take his gold?

What if your church leaders told you to "do your priesthood duty" and to shoot and bludgeon to death 120 unarmed men, women, and children in a peaceful wagon train and take their stuff?

What if your prophet told you that God required you to slit the throats of a young mother and her daughter because they weren't heeding his words, as in the Lafferty case?

What if you castrated young men and nailed their genitals to the wall because they were enticing to the young brides that God had promised to you, as in the case of Bishop Snow? What if the prophet of God voiced approval of your actions?

What if your spiritual leader told you that your two children have been turned into zombies, so you have them killed and buried in his back yard?

What if your spiritual leader promised you that your faith would be rewarded in heaven for strapping on a dynamite vest and walking into a crowded bus station?
“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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Palerider
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Palerider » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:47 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 am

What if you castrated young men and nailed their genitals to the wall because they were enticing to the young brides that God had promised to you, as in the case of Bishop Snow? What if the prophet of God voiced approval of your actions?
Yeesh...... hadn't heard of this one..... :|
"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."

"Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light."

George Washington

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:18 am

Palerider wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:47 am
Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 am

What if you castrated young men and nailed their genitals to the wall because they were enticing to the young brides that God had promised to you, as in the case of Bishop Snow? What if the prophet of God voiced approval of your actions?
Yeesh...... hadn't heard of this one..... :|
FAIR has a different take on this.

The popular story apparently comes from a book by John D. Lee, the scapegoat who was executed for the Mountain Meadows massacre. Lee claimed that the "incident was the result of a fight over a girl between Snow and Lewis, and that the castration occurred occurred before the entire congregation, after which Snow 'allegedly took the portion severed from his victim and hung it up on a nail on the Manti ward house wall so that it could be seen by all who visited the house afterwards.'"

According to FAIR, Bishop Snow did castrate Thomas Lewis, but it was a punishment for sexual transgression, and he did it secretly in the willows while Lewis was being transported to prison. FAIR says that Brigham Young did not overtly approve of the castration but observed that Snow was “trying to do right,” and therefore Young sustained him in his calling as Bishop.

So, it's all good.
“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."

annotatedbom
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by annotatedbom » Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:32 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 am
What if someone took Brigham Young at his word and beheaded a mixed race family because, according to a prophet of God, it would be showing them the greatest kindness and mercy.

What if you heard a voice in your head telling you to sacrifice your son by stabbing him and cutting his throat? Isaac was saved by and angel, but no angel came to the rescue when seminary teacher Rodney Lundberg stabbed his son to death in his Abrahamic test.

What if you heard the voice of God telling you to behead a drunk and take his gold?

What if your church leaders told you to "do your priesthood duty" and to shoot and bludgeon to death 120 unarmed men, women, and children in a peaceful wagon train and take their stuff?

What if your prophet told you that God required you to slit the throats of a young mother and her daughter because they weren't heeding his words, as in the Lafferty case?

What if you castrated young men and nailed their genitals to the wall because they were enticing to the young brides that God had promised to you, as in the case of Bishop Snow? What if the prophet of God voiced approval of your actions?

What if your spiritual leader told you that your two children have been turned into zombies, so you have them killed and buried in his back yard?

What if your spiritual leader promised you that your faith would be rewarded in heaven for strapping on a dynamite vest and walking into a crowded bus station?
So many great/horrific examples. Your first is directly about Brigham Young, and one or two others can be connected to him. It almost seems impossible to address the historical harm done by the Church and not refer to that guy. Even if Joseph were a true prophet and the Church he organized had been God's only one authorized, it seems hard to imagine how you could justify that the Brighamite branch was/is God's given the monster that emerges as you dig into the history of BY.

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:52 pm

annotatedbom wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:32 am
Even if Joseph were a true prophet and the Church he organized had been God's only one authorized, it seems hard to imagine how you could justify that the Brighamite branch was/is God's given the monster that emerges as you dig into the history of BY.
That is probably something that exmos/postmos should put more emphasis on. The way the Community of Christ folks see it, Joseph's family, the witnesses, and many of the other original members stayed faithfully in the church and watched the polygamists head out to build their own kingdom. Brigham required everyone to be re-baptized into his church once they reached Utah. Those who stayed behind were perfectly satisfied with their baptisms under the authority of Joseph Smith.
“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."

Reuben
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Reuben » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:26 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 am
What if someone took Brigham Young at his word and beheaded a mixed race family because, according to a prophet of God, it would be showing them the greatest kindness and mercy.

What if you heard a voice in your head telling you to sacrifice your son by stabbing him and cutting his throat? Isaac was saved by and angel, but no angel came to the rescue when seminary teacher Rodney Lundberg stabbed his son to death in his Abrahamic test.

What if you heard the voice of God telling you to behead a drunk and take his gold?

What if your church leaders told you to "do your priesthood duty" and to shoot and bludgeon to death 120 unarmed men, women, and children in a peaceful wagon train and take their stuff?

What if your prophet told you that God required you to slit the throats of a young mother and her daughter because they weren't heeding his words, as in the Lafferty case?

What if you castrated young men and nailed their genitals to the wall because they were enticing to the young brides that God had promised to you, as in the case of Bishop Snow? What if the prophet of God voiced approval of your actions?

What if your spiritual leader told you that your two children have been turned into zombies, so you have them killed and buried in his back yard?

What if your spiritual leader promised you that your faith would be rewarded in heaven for strapping on a dynamite vest and walking into a crowded bus station?
Yeah, but those are just crazies. It's sad, but you get them everywhere.

I think that's what you would get from most members: throw out the outliers or explain them away. I can't say this would be bad reasoning.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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alas
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by alas » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:44 pm

Reuben wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:26 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 am
What if someone took Brigham Young at his word and beheaded a mixed race family because, according to a prophet of God, it would be showing them the greatest kindness and mercy.

What if you heard a voice in your head telling you to sacrifice your son by stabbing him and cutting his throat? Isaac was saved by and angel, but no angel came to the rescue when seminary teacher Rodney Lundberg stabbed his son to death in his Abrahamic test.

What if you heard the voice of God telling you to behead a drunk and take his gold?

What if your church leaders told you to "do your priesthood duty" and to shoot and bludgeon to death 120 unarmed men, women, and children in a peaceful wagon train and take their stuff?

What if your prophet told you that God required you to slit the throats of a young mother and her daughter because they weren't heeding his words, as in the Lafferty case?

What if you castrated young men and nailed their genitals to the wall because they were enticing to the young brides that God had promised to you, as in the case of Bishop Snow? What if the prophet of God voiced approval of your actions?

What if your spiritual leader told you that your two children have been turned into zombies, so you have them killed and buried in his back yard?

What if your spiritual leader promised you that your faith would be rewarded in heaven for strapping on a dynamite vest and walking into a crowded bus station?
Yeah, but those are just crazies. It's sad, but you get them everywhere.

I think that's what you would get from most members: throw out the outliers or explain them away. I can't say this would be bad reasoning.
Ok, granted that the Mormon crazies are just crazies. How about the self worth damage done to blacks after years of being told that they were less valiant in the pre-existence and that Is why they can’t have the same blessings as whites? How about the self worth damage done to females from the church treating them like second class citizens? What about the damage done to childhood sexual abuse victims when the church teaches them they are licked cupcakes that not even repentance can make clean? What about the shame caused to young men for having normal sexual feelings and doing normal things like masturbation? What about the damage done to gays and transgender?

Should I keep going?

Reuben
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Reuben » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:50 pm

alas wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:44 pm
Reuben wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:26 pm
Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:51 am
What if someone took Brigham Young at his word and beheaded a mixed race family because, according to a prophet of God, it would be showing them the greatest kindness and mercy.

What if you heard a voice in your head telling you to sacrifice your son by stabbing him and cutting his throat? Isaac was saved by and angel, but no angel came to the rescue when seminary teacher Rodney Lundberg stabbed his son to death in his Abrahamic test.

What if you heard the voice of God telling you to behead a drunk and take his gold?

What if your church leaders told you to "do your priesthood duty" and to shoot and bludgeon to death 120 unarmed men, women, and children in a peaceful wagon train and take their stuff?

What if your prophet told you that God required you to slit the throats of a young mother and her daughter because they weren't heeding his words, as in the Lafferty case?

What if you castrated young men and nailed their genitals to the wall because they were enticing to the young brides that God had promised to you, as in the case of Bishop Snow? What if the prophet of God voiced approval of your actions?

What if your spiritual leader told you that your two children have been turned into zombies, so you have them killed and buried in his back yard?

What if your spiritual leader promised you that your faith would be rewarded in heaven for strapping on a dynamite vest and walking into a crowded bus station?
Yeah, but those are just crazies. It's sad, but you get them everywhere.

I think that's what you would get from most members: throw out the outliers or explain them away. I can't say this would be bad reasoning.
Ok, granted that the Mormon crazies are just crazies. How about the self worth damage done to blacks after years of being told that they were less valiant in the pre-existence and that Is why they can’t have the same blessings as whites? How about the self worth damage done to females from the church treating them like second class citizens? What about the damage done to childhood sexual abuse victims when the church teaches them they are licked cupcakes that not even repentance can make clean? What about the shame caused to young men for having normal sexual feelings and doing normal things like masturbation? What about the damage done to gays and transgender?

Should I keep going?
There we go. (Sorry, it was very late in the UK when I posted, so I didn't have the mental resources to generate a list like that. I was literally falling asleep as I wrote.)

Now there will be an objection that similar ideas have been found outside the church, so it can't be faulted - it's partly a product of it's time. My responses:

1. If the prophets can't detect that they're spreading harmful falsehoods, then what are they for? (Hat tip Ricky Gervais.)

2. The false ideas are given a ridiculous amount of momentum by faith, which makes them very hard to challenge. See these fine examples in the scriptures of people who just believed? Do the same and be blessed. Don't do the same and be damned.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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græy
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by græy » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:22 am

annotatedbom wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:13 am
For Come Follow Me, Lesson 25, Jun 22-28, 2020, Alma 17-22

If I wanted to encourage thought and try to understand devout believers better, I might ask:
Can faith be harmful or dangerous?

See the Things to consider for this lesson.

And, here’s a list of some other observations about this lesson’s reading.

Enjoy!
A-Bom
I don't know if I've said thank you for all your work this project. I do look forward to your questions, even though I can't bring them up in actual family conversation. They give me something to think about while DW indoctrinates our kids.

Anyway, thank you, annotatedbom!
I'm better than dirt... well most dirt. Not that fancy store bought stuff, I can't compete with that... full of nutrients and everything. -Moe Sizlack

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Hagoth » Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:29 pm

græy wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:22 am
I don't know if I've said thank you for all your work this project... thank you, annotatedbom!
Yes, great stuff!
“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."

annotatedbom
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by annotatedbom » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:13 pm

Reuben wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:50 pm
Now there will be an objection that similar ideas have been found outside the church, so it can't be faulted - it's partly a product of it's time. My responses:

1. If the prophets can't detect that they're spreading harmful falsehoods, then what are they for? (Hat tip Ricky Gervais.)

2. The false ideas are given a ridiculous amount of momentum by faith, which makes them very hard to challenge. See these fine examples in the scriptures of people who just believed? Do the same and be blessed. Don't do the same and be damned.
That’s exactly my point. You’re right. Crazies are in any organization of significant size. But it’s the control features of Mormonism that totally amplify or weaponize the crazy. As soon as the leaders get a little authority, as they suppose, and there’s very little accountability to keep the crazy in check. The further up the hierarchy, the less accountability, to the point that only outside pressure seems to sometime keep them a little in check. The problem is, most outside the Church don’t give a rat’s rear about the Church, so it’s the exception that such outside force sways they leaders.

annotatedbom
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by annotatedbom » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:16 pm

græy wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:22 am
I don't know if I've said thank you for all your work this project. I do look forward to your questions, even though I can't bring them up in actual family conversation. They give me something to think about while DW indoctrinates our kids.

Anyway, thank you, annotatedbom!
[blushing] Gosh, thanks!

ETA: And, thanks to Hagoth too!

ETA, again: Græy, I’m like you. I rarely brought up questions with my Mormons like the questions in my weekly posts. When I did bring up things with my wife, I didn’t do it well. I didn’t teach our kids anything about problems with Church truth claims. They knew I no longer believed, and I tried to teach them critical thinking. Those things along with the fact the Church has little to offer the younger generation seemed to do the trick. All five of my kids consider themselves former Mormons. But even critical thinking became a hiss and a byword for my wife. She’s smart. I think she can see the challenges my encouragement of thinking and demand for evidence brought.

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Hagoth » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:21 pm

Reuben wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:50 pm
Now there will be an objection that similar ideas have been found outside the church, so it can't be faulted - it's partly a product of it's time.
I like your responses, Reuben.

The critical difference that makes Mormonism a potential breeding ground for craziness, I think, is that it teaches you to believe that there should be someone who speaks for God telling you what to do. When someone comes along who seems to actually have a message from God in a way that your leaders seem unable to do, eager listeners have been well primed with the exciting idea that new prophets can come along and restore truth when old prophets have fallen into apostasy. You are also conditioned to accept that you should expect to be tested in ways that may seem contradictory to their day-to-day morals, to show that you have Abrahamic faith and devotion.
“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."

Reuben
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Reuben » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:23 am

Hagoth wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:21 pm
Reuben wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:50 pm
Now there will be an objection that similar ideas have been found outside the church, so it can't be faulted - it's partly a product of it's time.
I like your responses, Reuben.

The critical difference that makes Mormonism a potential breeding ground for craziness, I think, is that it teaches you to believe that there should be someone who speaks for God telling you what to do. When someone comes along who seems to actually have a message from God in a way that your leaders seem unable to do, eager listeners have been well primed with the exciting idea that new prophets can come along and restore truth when old prophets have fallen into apostasy. You are also conditioned to accept that you should expect to be tested in ways that may seem contradictory to their day-to-day morals, to show that you have Abrahamic faith and devotion.
I get that. I've felt the pull myself. Probably everyone has. The last time that priming worked on me, appropriately enough, was when I learned about the Book of Hagoth. Because, you know, what if? And I was a full-on unbeliever at the time!

I think my only point is that while outliers can tell you something about the pathologies of an organization, they often tell you little about its typical effect.

I wonder how much the indoctrination of "the (current) prophet can't lead the church astray" and warnings about apostasy counterbalance the priming we're talking about.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Hagoth
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Re: If I could ask them one question . . . Come Follow Me, Lesson 25

Post by Hagoth » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:24 am

Reuben wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:23 am
I wonder how much the indoctrination of "the (current) prophet can't lead the church astray" and warnings about apostasy counterbalance the priming we're talking about.
Great question. I think it works very well for the vast majority who want to go with the flow, but for a few who are anxiously looking for something more it might sound like people trying to cover their own weaknesses. Enter The One Mighty and Strong to set things straight.
“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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