Comments about ‘Mormons opening up in an Internet world’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 1 2012 12:05 a.m. MST

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paperboy111
Lindon, UT

The Internet is more than 20 years old and most of the history of the Mormon Church has been well documented and widely available for roughly the same span of time. 25 year-old Mormons have have unfettered access to the full and complete history of the Church during their entire lives, at the click of a mouse. And that's exactly the generation currently leaving the Mormon Church in droves.

jdh_md
NEW YORK, NY

In the interview with Elder Jensen had at Utah State he mentioned the church's project of updating the History of Church. It is apparently quite a long way into the process already. Looking forward to this updated volume of church history. Elder Jensen is wonderful and the information will be a great volume for study and growth of the church.

I love this church, acknowledge it is not perfect, and try my best to become more like Christ through what I learn from it.

DeepintheHeart
Lewisville, TX

Given that you interviewed Daniel Peterson, I'm surprised you didn't mention resources on the Internet that can help answer these questions. FARMS, or the Neal K. Maxwell Institute as its now known, and FAIR are two that come to mind. I think it is very important for people with questions to keep looking. Questioning is not the problem; assuming there are no answers is.

Esquire
Springville, UT

Interesting. There is a lot of false and misleading information on the Internet. Some of the things said are just beyond the pale. That said, there is no question that a lot of accurate history and details have been suppressed, hidden or ignored. There are some significant inconsistencies and doctrinal variations. This is a serious issue. The bottom line is that religion is a matter of faith, and nothing in the world can change that fact.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

We are blessed to live in this time and place. For all the advancements to improve communication we have access to more than the people in Europe when the first books, including the Bible were published. It is with excitement that we have all these wonderful works and words for us in our day. That doesn't mean the other side doesn't try to use it like all the battles since Adam. We don't have to dwell on those but just need to keep on accessing the Good Books and Music as President Packer has stressed to us for 35 years. We just have to use our filters on our devices to ensure our children, grandchildren and even ourselves don't get hooked in this loop of negativity.

Thanks for the Deseret News, Church News, Ensign, New Era and Friend, Liahona for providing us with truth and light to prepare us for the day, and everyday that we have to look forward to with a smile. The blessing is we can get these things online and in hardcopy besides many of these things even with a direct talk from leaders

Whos Life RU Living?
Ogden, UT

Are mormons still advised only to go to approved church websites when writing talks? Just curious.

Ok
Salt Lake City, Utah

"My rule is always calm down," he said. "And then wait. Look around. There may already be an answer out there. Just because you don't know about it instantly doesn't mean it's not there."

A very good rule. Good for the LDS Church, other religions, world leaders, and for personal use. If more of us were to calm down, wait, and look around, more working answers would be found and more problems solved.

Work2late
Morgan, UT

It is interesting that Bushman is cited in this article as one who has a "definitive" biography. While there are many documented truths in his book, he also has many undocumented concepts that sound like fact but that are conjecture by the author. If you read his book, go look up some of his references for different sections, especially those that are controversial or put Joseph Smith in a bad light, and read those referenced sources and see how much of his own ideas he put in just to "shock". Very similar to what the undocumented enemies to Joseph Smith do on the internet. His book is an example of an author who wants to be portrayed as having "new" information on an old topic and relies on his readers not doing their homework.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@Whos Life RU Living?

You asked - "Are Mormons still advised only to go to approved church websites when writing talks? Just curious."

Probably no more than critics of the LDS Church advise their followers to only view approved websites.

So often I have read LDS critics attack a website simply because it comes from FARMS or FAIR. The substance of the site is rarely if ever explored. Barely do they go into specifics, except when personally attacking someone like Peterson with remarks such as:

"He's just lying for the Lord," or

"He's following the church's mission to pray, pay and obey."

When discussing websites, the critics simply make blanket attacks such as:

"FARMS is a hack," or

"FAIR's website is the most dishonest site on the whole web."

In a nutshell, what the critics are telling their followers is, "Don't go to these websites, just take our word that they're not credible."

In case your wondering where I got my quotes, feel free to browse the most popular sites critical of the LDS Church and you'll find all of these quotes in abundance.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

FAIR and FARMS always provide rock solid answers. They never need to spin things.

JoeBlow
Miami Area, Fl

"FAIR and FARMS always provide rock solid answers. They never need to spin things."

Just like Fox news is Fair and Balanced.

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

@JoeBlow

Thank you for proving my point.

byufootballrocks
Herndon, VA

I love FARMS.
Before FARMS, Latter-Day Saints in tough situations often felt like they were defending submachine guns with water pistols.
I have always eventually found the answers to the tough questions.
Because I know the gospel is true, I know the answers have to be there, and with that faith those tangible answers eventually and always turn up.
Mr. Opposition doesn't have us over a barrel any more.

Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

"Peterson said the problem is not so much that there are no answers to historical questions, but that people discover this or that historical fact they had never heard before."

Another problem, in my opinion, is that the answers to the problems aren't very satisfying.

Mc
West Jordan, UT

Finding answers only goes so far if you don't have faith and desire to go with it. If someone is fully converted to the church the answers are there and they will satisfy. If you want to find fault and try to prove it false, the truth will not satisfy.

JoeBlow
Miami Area, Fl

Ok Clark,

I was making a joke.

The reality is that many sites have an agenda.

Certainly that is true of some of the negative LDS sites, but you would have to be in denial to believe that FAIR and FARMS does not present a side that is favorable to their beliefs.

I see the LDS including FAIR and FARMS kind of like Newton.

He knew the apple fell to the ground, now it was just a matter of proving why. Debating whether or not the apple fell was futile.

LovingMormons
Bakersfield, CA

We're praying that Romney becomes president. Then there will be such light and scrutiny on Mormonism that nothing can hide in archives for decades.

We just want the Way, the Truth and the Life. God will orchestrate and liberate. You have nothing to fear if its God's truth that you seek. His will always come to fruition. Keep the faith, but don't be hiding when it knocks.

Freeyourmind
Orange, CA

The problem with questions about the church is that ultimately the apologists will admit that in many cases, it's a matter of faith, and you have to ask God directly for some kind of spiritual confirmation. For those who reject the process of praying and then interpreting an emotional response as a reliable methodology for determining truth, this advice is not helpful.

The fact is that people of all religions experience emotional responses in a worship context that they interpret as spiritual manifestations of the correctness of whatever organization or belief system they belong to. Such emotional responses are not indicators of the truth or reality of actual historical events.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'So often I have read LDS critics attack a website simply because it comes from FARMS or FAIR. The substance of the site is rarely if ever explored.' - ClarkHippo | 7:50 a.m. Feb. 1, 2012

You mean, like you can overcome orientation?

**'Psychologists nix gay-to-straight therapy' - AP - 08/05/09

'The American Psychological Association slams technique that seeks to change sexual orientation.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.' - article

This claim, has been widely discredited.

Even those who claimed to support it previously, have a 'revelation.'

**'Marcus Bachmanns Gay Cure - By Michelle Goldberg - The Daily Beast - 07/10/11

'Yet when the City Pages reporter asked Marcus if his clinic performs so-called reparative therapy a widely discredited technique meant to turn gay people straight Marcus denied it.' - article

I can also go into...

NARTH
NOM
Exodus International.

When claiming the 'substance' is valid...

make sure, it is credible.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

Mc: "If someone is fully converted to the church the answers are there and they will satisfy. If you want to find fault and try to prove it false, the truth will not satisfy."

It's interesting that you didn't include those who are looking for the truth without an agenda. Or do you believe they even exist?

ClarkHippo:

FARMS, FAIR, and Rough Stone Rolling all had the effect of greasing the rails on my way out of the church. I would gladly send someone there who was looking for answers because, with a little critical thinking, one can detect where they reach the limits of their arguments. To be honest, many of their articles do substantively rebut some critics' arguments against the church. However, others, such as Joseph Smith's experiments with polygamy/polyandry left me cold, and the suggestion that I wasn't putting it the context of the time doesn't float for me when speaking of morality.

Mc's post is very salient regarding apologetic sites: if you are looking for ways to prop up your faith, these apologetic sites can give you an argument to justify your faith. However, if you are looking for truth, consider this: they are not endorsed by the church nor are they vetted by their non-Mormon peers. They give their opinions according to their study and the necessary slant. And, yes, I'm commenting generally, because I don't have the time nor the space to comment on specifics.

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