Doctrinal Dominos

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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Red Ryder
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Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Red Ryder » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:39 pm

I thought we could all put our heads together and come up with a high level domino chain that deconstructs the numerous Mormon doctrine, policy, and cultural issues that supports the view that the church isn’t what it claims to be.

I know Mormonthink, the CES letter, and a million other places have this information but what I’m hoping we can accomplish is a simplified version that captures the levels of the rabbit hole. Perhaps something that could be put into a flowchart or other easy to follow diagram or document. Something to capture the structural metadata.

Origins and early Church
1. Joseph Smith character
2. First vision multiple versions
3. Book of Mormon and BOA translation
4. Priesthood restoration
5. Secret practice of polygamy
6. Temple and free masonry parallels
7. Succession and BY as Prophet
8. Race and the Priesthood

Modern church
1. Church morphed into corporate empire
2. Policy adjustments
3. Gospel topic essays and revised history
4. Temple changes
5. Prophet succession

Cultural Issues
1. Toxic shame, guilt, and sexual repression
2. Role of Women in the church
3. Infinity fraud, MLM’s, and bad business
4. Proposition 8 and gay rights
5. BYU and the honor code office
6.

After writing the list above I’m realizing this easily gets blown up. There really are a lot of issues that show the church in it’s true nature.
Mormonism is demonstrably false when you take a step back and see the patterns.

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Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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jfro18
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by jfro18 » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:51 pm

I'm going very quick off top of my head so I am missing stuff but also could be duplicating a bit depending on how you group...

Early church issues:
Kinderhook Plates
Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible
Kirtland Bank
Book of Mormon historical issues (could fall under translation)
BoM witness issues
Changes to Doctrine and Covenants

Cultural Issues:
DNA and Lamanites - calling polynesians and Natives Lamanites
Curse of dark skin (you have this listed in early church which fits there too)

I have to pick my dog up, but you already had a pretty solid list... I know there are plenty more though. :)

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Hagoth
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Hagoth » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:56 pm

Here's my simple flowchart:

Read Book of Abraham -> Choose to believe -> Church is true!
OR
Read Book of Abraham -> Spend 1/2 day researching -> Ah sh*t!

(text editor wouldn't let me format it as an actual flowchart)
“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: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by deacon blues » Thu Jul 23, 2020 8:49 am

This is my domino experience:
#1- Kinderhook Plates #1E Church historians are deceitful-- 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E Dominoes fall exponentially :o
#2- Book of Abraham, #2A Joseph Smith made mistakes :shock:
#3- Book of Mormon, #3A DNA Joseph made more mistakes, #3B -BOM Anachronisms, Joseph made more mistakes #3C Joseph was deceitful about translation method, seerstones+ "it was not intended to tell a the circumstances of the BOM translation.
#4- D&C revisions #4A, Joseph Made more mistakes, was deceitful
#5 Polygamy #5A Joseph brazenly lied :x
#6 Joseph could not be trusted, #6D priesthood authority was questionable :roll:
#7 Blacks and the Priesthood #7A Other Church leaders from Brigham Young on could not be trusted. #7D priesthood authority was a sham. :P

The Big Bang- Mormonism blows up in my face. :)
God is Love. God is Truth

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moksha
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by moksha » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:05 pm

When you remove long strands of dominos you have to respace them all over.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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blazerb
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by blazerb » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:01 pm

At one point, I almost had this domino chain:

1. Evolution has overwhelming evidence
2. Death existed before the fall
3. Eden is metaphorical
4. If Eden is metaphorical, there was no paradise
5. There is no paradisaical state to restore at the 2nd Coming
6. There is no 2nd Coming
7. Why am I stressing over underwear?

Unfortunately, that chain got interrupted.

Another that should have happened:

1. The church disavows racist teachings
2. Brigham Young taught racism
3. Prophets made mistakes
4. Today's prophets are making mistakes

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Just This Guy
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Just This Guy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:02 pm

This is the logic chain that destroyed my testimony.

1. The Book of Abraham has multiple, verifiable, instances of blatant incorrect translation. (Facsimile 2)
2. Joseph Smith did not translate the Book of Abraham from acient documents.
3. There is no physical evidence to the Book of Mormon.
4, Joseph Smith did not translate the Book of Mormon as he claimed.
5. Joseph Smith was not a prophet.
6. The church Joseph Smith founded is not god's church.
7. Modern Mormonism is very harmful. It destroys families, and leaders throughout abuse their power for their own personal gain.
8. Modern Mormonism is not God's church.
9. The church is not true.
10. There is no reason to be a member of it.
"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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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:01 pm

I'm a weird one, but I found the other restoration sects interesting as a missionary, started seeing all the parallel beliefs, deep dive into doctrinal origins, realized we have nothing original like I once thought.

Also much like Haley Lemon the JST Adam Clarke scholar, I was bored in Sunday School one day, saw the phrase "probationary state", googled it, and found all the 19th century sermons with that exact stuff.

Book of Abraham stuff just supported the other conclusions I had already arrived at.

Culturally, I hated HC duty and especially despised church courts.

Reuben
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Reuben » Fri Jul 24, 2020 1:46 pm

1. God isn't helping me with ADHD no matter how hard I beg. In fact, begging seems to make things worse.

(I had just moved to the UK and couldn't get medication that worked anymore.)

2. God is perfectly happy to let me slide into the abyss. Here comes the abyss. Shit. God, do something! I'm going to lose my job, get deported, and have to pay back $100K of moving expenses!

3. Huh. I feel the Spirit at church and seem to be getting help with Sunday School lessons. Conclusion: God cares more that the church functions than that I function. I'm disposable.

4. But consider the lillies of the field, right? Conclusion: God cares about his children and nobody is disposable. A contradiction.

5. I finally got medication that works and everything is better. A learning experience, maybe? Learn what?

6. Learned: every good thing that's happened to me has been because of good luck, good people, and hard work. This is no exception: science, a high-earning job,
and finding private insurance save the day. Conclusion: God is either weaker than a pill or unwilling to be as strong as one.

7. If God is either so weak or so uninvolved, how does that square with the heavy involvement and great power I'm taught to expect? Maybe that only happens for church stuff, or for prophets. But God is no respecter of persons, right? A contradiction.

8. But there's evidence of intervention from church history! Wait, I already know most of it is exaggerated. Better look for more. Whoops, found reminders of everything I already know is wrong with Mormonism. Can't use faith in Mormonism to justify believing in God's intervention, then.

9. Can't use faith in God's intervention to justify believing in Mormonism, either. It's getting harder.

10. How the hell do these people who bear testimony know anything? I'm not like them.

When 10 fell, so did any social influence the church had on my beliefs, so they fell to pieces.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

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Rob4Hope
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Rob4Hope » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:15 pm

blazerb wrote:
Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:01 pm

2. Death existed before the fall
First domino in my chain. I remember listening to BRM who was "THE MAN" back in the day. When he spoke, the "thinking had been done."

But I could never understand how the din0saurs, which must have been alive when Adam was, .... well, how did Noah fit those big creatures,...2 by 2, in his little ark? It made no sense to me at all.

I also couldn't figure out why, when I asked questions about this, people got white in the face and told me to shut up.

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Rob4Hope
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Rob4Hope » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:16 pm

Race and Priesthood.

The LDS church taught that children who died before the age of 8 were automatically saved.

What would the case be if a black child died before the age of 8?

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Rob4Hope
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Rob4Hope » Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:20 pm

Since the church is true and God would never let someone be born gay (see BKP), then why has my friend prayed, fasted, begged, pleaded, and even submitted himself to church sanctioned electrical shock therapy to find himself still gay?

Why does he have no memory,...not a single one,...of ever being anything other than gay?

Either god is a big dick, or the church is. Perhaps both?

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Hagoth
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Hagoth » Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:17 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:15 pm
But I could never understand how the din0saurs, which must have been alive when Adam was, .... well, how did Noah fit those big creatures,...2 by 2, in his little ark? It made no sense to me at all.
It's all been answered by this documentary about the creation museum's ark replica (spoiler: the dinosaurs on the ark were babies):
https://www.amazon.com/We-Believe-Dinos ... 181&sr=1-1
“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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Corsair
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Corsair » Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:57 pm

Red Ryder wrote:
Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:39 pm
After writing the list above I’m realizing this easily gets blown up. There really are a lot of issues that show the church in it’s true nature.
Mormonism is demonstrably false when you take a step back and see the patterns.
I like your lists, but this is not so much of a chain of dominoes as it is a minefield where anything might blow up. It still depends on the emotional hot buttons of the believer and you never know what will set it off.

Here's my contribution to this endeavor. It was plural marriage that pushed me down the path, but this would have done so it if was explained well.
  1. Joseph Smith started the Restoration after the Great Apostasy ended the priesthood and left the world in darkness!
  2. Peter worked with Clement and Ignatius and surely would have ordained them to the priesthood
  3. John definitely worked with Polycarp
  4. "The Didache" is literally a late first century Gospel Principles manual
  5. Maybe it was during the second century when the Great Apostasy started
  6. Irenaus and Justin Martyr had a pretty solid doctrine of Jesus in the second century
  7. Origen was actually translating ancient scripture using study and scholarship, not a seer stone
  8. Alexander, Athanasius, and Anthony seem like pretty solid guys clear into the fourth century.
  9. Actually, the Nicene Creed is 99% acceptable to me. Why did I think this was the sign of Apostasy?
  10. OK, but Joseph Smith kept a unified church down through to day. Uh, except all of those Mormon splinter groups
  11. Yeah, but the early Christian fractured into all these competing churches right after death of the original apostles. Wait, no, it was more like 1054
  12. Well, there were those Manicheans and Nestorians ... which all died out
  13. That Benedict guy was cool
  14. Good Heavens, Thomas Aquinas makes a shocking amount of sense
  15. Martin Luther was kind of a racist stick in the mud, but I see where he was coming from
  16. Why does the story of the Anabaptist rebellion in Muenster sound suspiciously like the Nauvoo period featuring plural marriage, law of consecration, and crazy prophets?
  17. OK, this Apostasy and Restoration story is pretty weak
  18. My bishop and stake president were mostly ignorant on plural marriage but they have no idea whatsoever about christian history
So, it's not quite as hard hitting as Book of Abraham and Plural Marriage. I imagine that Hugh Nibley would think I was wrong, but the apostles and membership only wanted to listen to him when he was making fun of Fawn Brodie.

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blazerb
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by blazerb » Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:57 pm

Corsair wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 10:57 pm
Here's my contribution to this endeavor. It was plural marriage that pushed me down the path, but this would have done so it if was explained well.
  1. Joseph Smith started the Restoration after the Great Apostasy ended the priesthood and left the world in darkness!
  2. Peter worked with Clement and Ignatius and surely would have ordained them to the priesthood
  3. John definitely worked with Polycarp
  4. "The Didache" is literally a late first century Gospel Principles manual
  5. Maybe it was during the second century when the Great Apostasy started
  6. Irenaus and Justin Martyr had a pretty solid doctrine of Jesus in the second century
  7. Origen was actually translating ancient scripture using study and scholarship, not a seer stone
  8. Alexander, Athanasius, and Anthony seem like pretty solid guys clear into the fourth century.
  9. Actually, the Nicene Creed is 99% acceptable to me. Why did I think this was the sign of Apostasy?
  10. OK, but Joseph Smith kept a unified church down through to day. Uh, except all of those Mormon splinter groups
  11. Yeah, but the early Christian fractured into all these competing churches right after death of the original apostles. Wait, no, it was more like 1054
  12. Well, there were those Manicheans and Nestorians ... which all died out
  13. That Benedict guy was cool
  14. Good Heavens, Thomas Aquinas makes a shocking amount of sense
  15. Martin Luther was kind of a racist stick in the mud, but I see where he was coming from
  16. Why does the story of the Anabaptist rebellion in Muenster sound suspiciously like the Nauvoo period featuring plural marriage, law of consecration, and crazy prophets?
  17. OK, this Apostasy and Restoration story is pretty weak
  18. My bishop and stake president were mostly ignorant on plural marriage but they have no idea whatsoever about christian history
So, it's not quite as hard hitting as Book of Abraham and Plural Marriage. I imagine that Hugh Nibley would think I was wrong, but the apostles and membership only wanted to listen to him when he was making fun of Fawn Brodie.
I remember reading a Mormon apologetic book that gave a date for the last priesthood holder in the primitive church. I really wanted a source, but could not find one.

On a funny note, I had a companion who asked a Catholic who rejected the apostasy who the 2nd pope was. He felt very smug when the man could not answer. I was (and am) not totally up on christian history myself, but I told him after the discussion that I was pretty sure the 2nd pope was Linus. (I'll have to check to see if I got that right.) He had no idea that Catholics actually have names and dates for all the popes. Apparently, no Catholic had ever been able to give him an answer.

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2bizE
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by 2bizE » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:27 pm

My first domino was Noah and the Ark followed by Adam and Eve.
~2bizE

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Rob4Hope
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Rob4Hope » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:40 am

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:17 pm
Rob4Hope wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:15 pm
But I could never understand how the din0saurs, which must have been alive when Adam was, .... well, how did Noah fit those big creatures,...2 by 2, in his little ark? It made no sense to me at all.
It's all been answered by this documentary about the creation museum's ark replica (spoiler: the dinosaurs on the ark were babies):
https://www.amazon.com/We-Believe-Dinos ... 181&sr=1-1

That's funny man.

The next question I had were the insects. Do you know how many species there are of those?!!!!!!!

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Hagoth
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Hagoth » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:32 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:40 am
The next question I had were the insects. Do you know how many species there are of those?!!!!!!!
Their explanation is that it's like breeds of dogs. You only needed 2 beetles, 2 flies, 2 earthworms, etc. and those morph into all of the different varieties. But don't be tempted to call that evolution! I guess they totally sidestep the obvious response, which is that, unlike dogs, ladybugs and rhinoceros beetles are not the same species and cannot interbreed. A Great Dane and a Chihuahua, in theory, could (but I'd hate to be involved in that Frankenstein experiment!)

The next problem is that EVERY creature you can find in the fossil record would have to be represented in Noah's ark. All of mastodons and mammoths and giant sloths and sabre-toothed tigers and on and on and on, both above and below the dinosaurs in the fossil column. Imagine that. They stick a few of those on the ark exhibit but they overlook 99.99% of them.

The other question is what about all of the plants that were drowned? Did Noah carry seeds? And what about fresh water vs. seawater creatures? In the flood everything would be swimming in the same salinity, and that's what would end up in the lakes and oceans once the level went down.

The biggest problem with this whole thing, of course, is not that a bunch of people believe wacky stuff. It's that they are indoctrinating a whole new generation to reject science and critical thinking.
“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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Linked
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Linked » Mon Jul 27, 2020 4:10 pm

I think cracks may be a better metaphor (possibly because I spend a lot of time with them for work as a mechanical engineer). A crack in your shelf perhaps.

A crack will follow the path where the material yields when it is stressed. This can lead to a crack growing until there is not enough material left and the whole thing falls apart. There are a few ways to prevent or repair cracking. First you can use a material that is less susceptible to crack growth. And once a crack starts if you find it before the whole thing falls apart you can drill a hole at the tip of the crack and it will often stop the crack.

The church starts with good material, childhood indoctrination which gets people to actively avoid cracks. Then, it pre-drills a bunch of the shelf to stop the cracks from growing large enough to let the whole thing fall apart. The Book of Abraham can be proven false? No problem, you prayed and God told you that the church is true. Now go figure out the logic to make that work.

I had a bunch of cracks that had all been stopped until one finally broke the shelf. Then reviewing the shelf I saw all those cracks and was shocked that the shelf held up as long as it did. It was well made.

Some of my stopped cracks:
- Trying to empathize with the experience of LGBTQ+ individuals in the church, and seeing the church as horribly hurtful to those people
- Miracles seemed pretty random
- Creationism and young earth theories and rejection of evolution didn't make sense (this crack was stopped by Kerry Muhlstein in an Old Testament class at BYU. He told us that the church didn't have an official stance, so believe whatever you want.)
- I was given tips used by sales people as a missionary, which made me realize we were selling. Later, I realized how emotionally manipulative the church videos were. And if the videos carefully made by the church were manipulative, what else was manipulative?
- The World and the Us vs Them mentality at church was at odds with my experiences in life
- "Know" at church meant something different than everywhere else

My final crack:
- Occam's Razor mixed with learning about Confirmation Bias mixed with my work life helping me realize that many people are very convinced that something is true and right when it clearly isn't. I applied those to my faith, along with my parents and former leaders and their belief in the church and it all fell apart.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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Lucidity
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Re: Doctrinal Dominos

Post by Lucidity » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:24 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:17 pm
Rob4Hope wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:15 pm
But I could never understand how the din0saurs, which must have been alive when Adam was, .... well, how did Noah fit those big creatures,...2 by 2, in his little ark? It made no sense to me at all.
It's all been answered by this documentary about the creation museum's ark replica (spoiler: the dinosaurs on the ark were babies):
https://www.amazon.com/We-Believe-Dinos ... 181&sr=1-1
I came across this about a month ago and couldn't believe what I was seeing. LOL Just when i thought they couldn't make the Noah story any less plausible.

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