My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (29 and growing)

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jfro18
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My list/summary of why the church can't be true... (29 and growing)

Post by jfro18 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:19 pm

In the process of working on my page to try and cover the LDS essays and other problems with the church, I wanted to compile a list of reasons (something of a summary of the entire page) as to why the church can't be true.

Originally I was thinking it would be a top ten type thing, but it ended up being 29 and will probably tuck a 30th in there at some point. A bit long so i might need to find a way to format it so it's not as daunting.

Anyway - if you're bored and want to check it out, you can find it at https://ldsdiscussion.wixsite.com/mysite/summary

The 29 points made now are:
1. The Book of Abraham
2. King James Errors and Deutero-Isaiah
3. The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible Plagiarism
4. Polygamy and Polyamory
5. Book of Mormon Translation - Church Narrative vs. Church History
6. DNA and the Changing Lamanites
7. Anachronisms
8. Significant Changes to Key Revelations
9. The Retrofitted Priesthood Restoration
10. Ban on Blacks from the Priesthood and All Temple Ordinances
11. Role of Women - Lack of Priesthood, Treatment During Polygamy, Etc
12. Treatment of the LGBT Community
13. Lack of Discernment by Prophets and Church Leaders
14. The Transfiguration of Brigham Young and Other Faith Promoting Stories
15. Brigham Young
16. Lack of Proof for Joseph Smith's Prophetic Abilities or the Book of Mormon
17. The Lost 116 Pages
18. Math
19. Joseph Smith and the Convenience of Revelations
20. Insistence on literalness from Bible (Noah's Ark, Adam and Eve)
21. The Everchanging LDS Apologists
22. Joseph Smith 'Mixtape' Theory (in progress)
23. Church History of Hiding/Suppressing Evidence
24. Lack of Modern Day Revelation
25. Lack of Modern Day Priesthood Miracles
26. Spiritual Witnesses/Where Will You Go?
27. Use of Fear to Attack Critics and Those Who Leave
28. Lack of Answers to Big Problems
29. Joseph Smith

Anyway... if you make it through let me know - I tried to be semi-brief on the topics but looking at them all at once ends up being fairly long. I also need to format it cleaner so the start of the page allows readers to jump around to the different #s.. but it's a start!
Last edited by jfro18 on Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:05 am, edited 4 times in total.

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GoodBoy
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by GoodBoy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:29 pm

Love it.
Always been the good kid, but I wanted to know more, and to find and test truth.

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Palerider
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Palerider » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:57 pm

One thing you might consider is the term polyandry as opposed to polyamory. Being in love with more than one person at a time isn't as descriptive of Joseph's behavior as is a woman being married to multiple husbands simultaneously.
"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

dogbite
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by dogbite » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:20 pm

The scriptures aren't scriptural.

The Bible failed for me first and the dependency of revealed LDS scriptures on a highly literal Bible quickly broke down the rest of Mormonism's claims.

There are as many ways out of the church as there are members.

Thoughtful
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Thoughtful » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:52 pm

Anachronisms

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didyoumythme
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by didyoumythme » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:30 pm

I would add "Lack of modern mircales". If the same priesthood is here, just like biblical times, then we would see miracles today. I am thinking specifically about lack of healings.

-Every conference story about giving a blessing ends in someone dying
-Now, it is greater to have faith NOT to be healed (what? atheists have the most faith?)
-No evidence of faster recoveries in Utah/Idaho
When an honest man discovers he is mistaken, he will either cease being honest, or cease being mistaken. - Anonymous

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slavereeno
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by slavereeno » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:00 pm

Thoughtful wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:52 pm
Anachronisms
This ^^^ is like number 2 for me.

Additionally in my top 10/15:
- Different versions of first vision story
- The endowment and its relationship to freemasonry combined with lack of scriptural support
- Joseph Smith general character - arrested 13 times in 4 states, (including fraud)
- destruction of the printing press (although this could be lumped in with polygamy)
- Kinderhook plates
- Hoffman Letters and lack of discernment
- literary and linguistic analysis of BoM
- The fact that God seems to give different answers to the "which church is true?" question
- The kirtland Safety society

Wow I think I could keep going...

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moksha
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by moksha » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:04 am

didyoumythme wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:30 pm
If the same priesthood is here, just like biblical times, then we would see miracles today.
The criteria for what would be accepted as a miracle has changed. In the past, if someone blew a mouthful of cornstarch at a flame they would say it was a fire-breathing miracle. If someone did it today, we could call it combustion.

One of the best arguments for Mormonism was put forth years ago in the Salt Lake Tribune. The lady in the article said, "It may be a fairy story, but it is our fairy story". The truth in allegory is not found in actual events, the teller of the allegory or even the allegory itself. It is found when it inspires us to be a kinder and more loving people. There are so very many wonderful Mormons. They are what's true.
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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Hagoth
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Hagoth » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:15 am

My list:
-It just ain't

The more I am able to recover from a lifetime of indoctrination the more obvious it becomes, and the more surprising it is to me that the truth claims were ever compelling.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

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jfro18
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:30 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:15 am
My list:
-It just ain't

The more I am able to recover from a lifetime of indoctrination the more obvious it becomes, and the more surprising it is to me that the truth claims were ever compelling.
That's what I've described to a few others as The Sixth Sense theory. The moment you see it... everything just flashes in your mind that becomes so obvious that you can not believe you never saw it in all the years prior.

Going to add more sections today - this thing might end up being a top 25 list which is way longer than I wanted it to be, so maybe I'll try to trim some stuff down or break it up or something.

Truly amazing how many things there are wrong with the church when you sit down and map it out... and then compare to the powerless leaders now who have nothing new to say and it becomes just so obvious that the entire thing is a made-up piece of abusive fiction.

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jfro18
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:30 am

Palerider wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:57 pm
One thing you might consider is the term polyandry as opposed to polyamory. Being in love with more than one person at a time isn't as descriptive of Joseph's behavior as is a woman being married to multiple husbands simultaneously.
Thanks - I don't know why I always confuse the two when I'm talking to people, but definitely got that fixed yesterday!

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alas
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by alas » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:24 am

Rather than just focus on the problem with blacks, why not broaden that to how the church is right there with the worst of the larger culture on all social issues. It is racist, it is sexist, it is homophobia, it blames the poor for being poor and wants to rip welfare away from them. Rather than just say it is racist and focus on blacks, why not look at the bigger problem. That is only about one fourth the problem. How about how they have treated the American Indian? Rather than treating them like chooses people and House of Israel, the church treated them as little better than vermin. Look up some of the massacres of natives by Mormons in Utah and Idaho. That was God’s chooser people? Sure all of America was wiping out the natives, but like I said, instead of being better than the larger culture, often we were worse. Look up how the Mauri and Navaho were/are treated. The church is bad with colonizing and forcing the people to adopt our culture. RACIST! Then look at how women are treated as property of men. Look at the sealing ceremony. Women are given to husbands and men receive them. Women are under their husbands that are under God in this hierarchal arrangement. Look up the Mormon Priestess, extended version on Feminist Mormon Housewives for a good explanation of how the church lies when it says women are equal. (I can’t give you a link, because I don’t have a computer and can’t do it on my iPad.) and you probably know how the church ignores science in the treatment of gays and especially transgender. But if you don’t think the social issues are a BIF reason that the church cannot be true, you are still way too Mormon in your thinking. Do some research.

Alas, stepping down from her soap box, to just add that as many people leave the church over social issues as history issues, probably more.

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achilles
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by achilles » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:35 am

alas wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:24 am
as many people leave the church over social issues as history issues, probably more.
I think this is a very important statement. I seem to have had two different apostasies--my doctrinal/historical falling out, and my social falling out.

The doctrinal/historical thing began for me with the Book of Abraham, and moved on to the issues with the Bible. Once the Bible fell, the Book of Mormon was next. But I don't know if it would have been enough for me to realize the Church wasn't "true"--because I loved the people so much, and saw the good fruits in people's lives.

Unfortunately, my falling out was ultimately due to social issues. I began to realize little by little that I was on the outside looking in socially. I am:

1-single, unmarried, approaching middle aged man
2-gay
3-an intellectual
4-an introvert

Due to these things, I realized I could never really be well-served by my activity in the Church. The Church seems to focus more on heterosexual married couples raising children. And really, to hell with everyone else (or so it seems...) The Church taught me that

1) being a single male was a sin,
2) I had to change my sexual orientation if I wanted to belong--that the Brethren knew the true nature of homosexuality and knew how to change me, if I had faith in them and God,
3) to be learned in the humanities and social sciences is not good, and any application of critical thought about the whole system was evil and would lead to my eventual intellectualizing my way out of the Church ,
4) thou shalt be an extrovert, and I am not one.

After years of trying to make it all work, I realized the problem wasn't me. All of these things lead me to believe the Church couldn't be true because if it were, these things wouldn't be a problem. The Church couldn't be perfect, because if it were, people like me would be as well-served by the Church as the families seem to be. If the Brethren really were prophets, seers, and revelators these social problems would be addressed through revelation, because doesn't God love all of us and want us to be nurtured by the Church? Socially, it's all bogus.

And this is just my social issues. I can't imagine what it's like to be a woman in the Church, or not Caucasian...

Once I was disaffected socially, my eyes were opened to all the doctrinal and historical problems.
“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

― Carl Sagan

"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."

-Joseph Campbell

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jfro18
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:10 pm

OK - Going to add some more sections:

Anachronisms
Treatment of LGBT and demonization of gays
Treatment of women (polygamy, lack of priesthood, purpose in life)

And then the other ones.

Going to be a little more selective on anachronisms to both keep it short and to stick to ones that have the most impact. Which anachronisms are the most problematic for everyone? Mine have always been King James errors, steel, horses, and chariots. The animals as a whole are problematic, but the idea they had the tech of wheels and steel and it somehow just disappeared is beyond basic logic.

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slavereeno
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by slavereeno » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:51 pm

moksha wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:04 am
One of the best arguments for Mormonism was put forth years ago in the Salt Lake Tribune. The lady in the article said, "It may be a fairy story, but it is our fairy story". The truth in allegory is not found in actual events, the teller of the allegory or even the allegory itself. It is found when it inspires us to be a kinder and more loving people. There are so very many wonderful Mormons. They are what's true.
This is a nearly perfectly stated stage 5 view of Mormonism.

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mooseman
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by mooseman » Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:01 pm

Rather than separating them out, why not just translation issues?
Anachronisms, BioA, tinderhook, plagerism. Seerstones.... they all fit into this one hat.

Same with social issues, like mentioned but you can also add in things like prophetic statements about NAZis, the crimes war, civil war, ect with civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, marijuana, et al.
It's frustrating to see the last resort in a discussion of facts be: I disregard those facts because of my faith. Why even talk about facts if the last resort is to put faith above all facts that are contrary to your faith?

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Palerider
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Palerider » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:12 pm

achilles wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:35 am

2) I had to change my sexual orientation if I wanted to belong--that the Brethren knew the true nature of homosexuality and knew how to change me, if I had faith in them and God,
Blindness, leprosy, being crippled, drug addiction... any kind of physical malady really.....is difficult to live with but won't keep you from receiving exaltation in the Mormon paradigm.

And yet most of these maladies were addressed by the Savior to relieve suffering. But very few real accounts of serious or miraculous healing have been recorded in Mormon history. No one in their 60's being healed of blindness who was blind from birth.

And yet with homosexuality, an anomaly that keeps an individual from receiving all the blessings the church has to offer, one would think a special dispensation would be given to God's servants to "heal" this difference that is considered such an impediment to salvation.

If the real priesthood of God were "restored" would it be unreasonable to suggest that a miracle would be warranted, of all cases, at least in 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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jfro18
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by jfro18 » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:20 pm

mooseman wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:01 pm
Rather than separating them out, why not just translation issues?
Anachronisms, BioA, tinderhook, plagerism. Seerstones.... they all fit into this one hat.

Same with social issues, like mentioned but you can also add in things like prophetic statements about NAZis, the crimes war, civil war, ect with civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, marijuana, et al.
I've been trying to figure out a way to do this, but I feel like it kind of undercuts the impact of each element if I try to lump them together.

But I'm heading for 25 points now... so I might need to try and do that at some point.

Just added some more and hoping to have a 'first run' of this finished by tomorrow. Then I can get to finishing the other pages and try to start working on formatting. This is both so angering to go through and also helpful to organize my thoughts.

Reuben
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Reuben » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:23 pm

It might be helpful to address why these things mean the church isn't "true."

Sorry, I can't assign a propositional truth value to a church without putting one of them in quotes. The concept is riddled with ontological confusion. IMO, "I know the church is true" really means "I trust the church 100% and I'm certain of its claims to truth and authority" or similar. When disaffected members say it's not "true," they tend to mean the opposite.

So... back to the whys. Why does each thing you've listed cause you to lose trust in the church, or to believe less in one of its claims? This is important because of how Mormons use ontological confusion to defend the church against reality. Got a problem with a leader's behavior? Nobody's perfect, dude; the church is still "true" (i.e. meaning its truth/authority claims still hold). Got a problem with a truth/authority claim? Nobody is always right, dude; the church is still "true" (i.e. meaning it's still a trustworthy conduit for God's will). Every piece of counterevidence can be dismissed as unimportant by considering it in isolation and letting it impact only one aspect of "the church is true."

Here's an example of explicating one of those whys. What's wrong with Joseph's polygamy? Sure, it looks bad. Sure, it still affects Mormons. Yeah, maybe it wasn't even commanded by God. Why does it mean the church isn't "true?" These are my answers.

1. Joseph's extensive lies and coverups about polygamy suggest that he was a scoundrel. Remember, the veracity of the report of every event for which he was the sole witness rests entirely on his character. Basically, if someone else didn't see it, I can't believe it happened because I can't trust Joseph to tell the truth.

2. I can't believe in a loving heavenly father who would command his church do this to his daughters. This glaring inconsistency calls the entire Mormon worldview into question.

3. Current church leaders can't see this awful practice for what it was, so I can't trust them to see clearly on moral issues, let alone be moral authorities in my life.

But maybe the best reason to explicate the whys isn't to better convince Mormons of their errors in thought. Maybe the best reason is to get some more peace of mind.

As Mormons, we were trained to believe that the church is "true" based on how good we felt about faith-building evidence. I think with this list you might be doing the opposite: determining your level of doubt that the church is "true" by how bad you feel about faith-destroying evidence. Joseph's polygamy? Bad! Kinderhook plates? Bad! How can anyone possibly believe that this pile of religious excrement is "true?" There's so much bad!

Obviously I think you've arrived at the right conclusions. But if you've used only feeling-based heuristics to justify them instead of rationally connecting the dots, you'll just end up feeling bad.
Grieve. It's your right and inheritance as a human being.

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Palerider
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Re: My list/summary of why the church can't be true...

Post by Palerider » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:54 pm

Reuben wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:23 pm
It might be helpful to address why these things mean the church isn't "true."

Sorry, I can't assign a propositional truth value to a church without putting one of them in quotes. The concept is riddled with ontological confusion. IMO, "I know the church is true" really means "I trust the church 100% and I'm certain of its claims to truth and authority" or similar. When disaffected members say it's not "true," they tend to mean the opposite.

So... back to the whys. Why does each thing you've listed cause you to lose trust in the church, or to believe less in one of its claims? This is important because of how Mormons use ontological confusion to defend the church against reality. Got a problem with a leader's behavior? Nobody's perfect, dude; the church is still "true" (i.e. meaning its truth/authority claims still hold). Got a problem with a truth/authority claim? Nobody is always right, dude; the church is still "true" (i.e. meaning it's still a trustworthy conduit for God's will). Every piece of counterevidence can be dismissed as unimportant by considering it in isolation and letting it impact only one aspect of "the church is true."

Here's an example of explicating one of those whys. What's wrong with Joseph's polygamy? Sure, it looks bad. Sure, it still affects Mormons. Yeah, maybe it wasn't even commanded by God. Why does it mean the church isn't "true?" These are my answers.

1. Joseph's extensive lies and coverups about polygamy suggest that he was a scoundrel. Remember, the veracity of the report of every event for which he was the sole witness rests entirely on his character. Basically, if someone else didn't see it, I can't believe it happened because I can't trust Joseph to tell the truth.

2. I can't believe in a loving heavenly father who would command his church do this to his daughters. This glaring inconsistency calls the entire Mormon worldview into question.

3. Current church leaders can't see this awful practice for what it was, so I can't trust them to see clearly on moral issues, let alone be moral authorities in my life.

But maybe the best reason to explicate the whys isn't to better convince Mormons of their errors in thought. Maybe the best reason is to get some more peace of mind.

As Mormons, we were trained to believe that the church is "true" based on how good we felt about faith-building evidence. I think with this list you might be doing the opposite: determining your level of doubt that the church is "true" by how bad you feel about faith-destroying evidence. Joseph's polygamy? Bad! Kinderhook plates? Bad! How can anyone possibly believe that this pile of religious excrement is "true?" There's so much bad!

Obviously I think you've arrived at the right conclusions. But if you've used only feeling-based heuristics to justify them instead of rationally connecting the dots, you'll just end up feeling bad.
Tell me if I've missed your point, but isn't there a percentages factor here?

The church has been telling it their way for years now and we're beginning to find out the story wasn't what they said it was and their only recourse is to mitigate on behalf of Joseph. Joseph HAS to win 100% of the time.

Which brings up my parable of the Waiter.

First, waiters are human. They make mistakes.

If you have a waiter who gives you the wrong change after you've paid for your meal, the percentages work out to about 50% of the time he'll give it in your favor and 50% of the time he'll give it in his favor.

If you have a waiter who gives the wrong change 100% of the time in HIS favor, then you have a dishonest waiter, not someone who's just making the occasional human mistake.

Nobody can have as many screw-ups as Joseph and the church have had and come out smelling like a rose 100% of the time. Something in this so-called "Zion" really stinks.... :cry:
"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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