LDS in survey call for unvarnished history

Eager to learn outside of church services, poll finds

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  • Iconoclast Lethbridge, AB
    May 7, 2011 9:28 a.m.

    The simple truth is that most faithful Mormons want to believe and are not interested in the facts about the history. My wife for example is a 6th generation, pioneer stock, BYU educated, temple married, 6 children (3 returned missionaries), Mormon who has been content to the Work and the Glory/ Correlated Sunday School lesson, history fed to members like pabulum. Repetitive lessons every four years. Wash, rinse and repeat.

    However, our 6 university educated children who are now 20-30 year-olds simply will not sit through a faithful history lesson that is by definition deceptive as well as dishonest. To hear the Thomas B. Marsh/stripping story, or the seagull/cricket story, or the Indians-did-it-to-the-wagon-train story, or the Joseph Smith sent men on missions and married their wives because God commanded him story are intolerable once you know the historical facts. Neither myself nor them, or many their contemporaries will put up with this.

    Unable to be allowed to have any voice in the matter, they have simply voted with their feet and walked out the door. Only one of them remains active to keep peace with their spouse. None are believers.

  • Mike777 Springfield, OR
    May 6, 2011 5:11 p.m.

    Anyone see the classic movie "East of Eden" in which a "perfect" son, Abel, discovers his mother is not a saint, thanks to "Cain" the "good son" goes crazy (his world is turned upside down) and he runs off and joins the military (implied he dies in WW1).

    A more mature testimony will develop if people have faith that what they are given in church is true, and not sanitized, and discussions with like-minded people can take place without some hypothetical "Cain" crushing a person's testimony merely using history as a weapon when, if examined, there is probably a good reason for something to have been said or done by leaders in the church.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    May 6, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    I don't think the Church could give the unvarnished truth of LDS history if they tried to. They're about belief and growth and have created a narrative to create that instead.

    This is the reason I no longer trust the Church to present it's history objectively. Not only are they too close to it, they have no desire to do it. Look at the films shown at the Joseph Smith Building in SLC. For lack of a better term I would call inspirational indoctrination rather than history. I realize the films were intended to inspire belief but that trumps everything else even accuracy.

    Likewise the Thomas B. Marsh milk strippings/apostasy story which has become fact and part of GA talks but has virtually no historical basis and is countered by an 1838 affidavit by Marsh.

    So no thanks. Although I used to look to the Church for accurate LDS history I no longer see a reason to. I have taken the responsibility to research upon myself. What the Church needs to do is stop discouraging others from doing the same. IMO it makes it look like the they have something to hide.

  • egm
    Sept. 5, 2009 2:15 p.m.

    I agree with "Honesty is the best Policy." Give me the whole truth. I can take it.

  • Honesty the best policy
    Sept. 3, 2009 7:39 p.m.

    There is nothing to be afraid of about history, which is done and past, but which offers lessons and inspiration.

    If a church feels it must hide truth, that sets up a rot at its core.

    The real history is out there in documents on the internet and in published scholarly works, many done brilliantly by Mormon scholars (although some were excommunicated, a mistake that needs to be rectified.)

    There is no point anymore in keeping history from the members, and honesty will prove more attractive to potential members.

  • OzPoof
    Sept. 3, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    What, no revelation? Sheesh, they need PR firms to find the TRUTH about whether or not people want to hear the TRUTH?

    When a religion is reluctant to tell the TRUTH you have to ask yourself why anyone would believe it to be the TRUTH!

  • Betty M
    Sept. 2, 2009 6:39 p.m.

    I only want the truth if it is faith promoting. Like our leaders told us, there are some truths that we do not need to know.

    And about the LDS Church sending out that survey--well there is not way that happened. The LDS church does NOT send out surveys to its members to see what we want. The prophets tell us what we want, period.

  • Eyes Wide Open
    Sept. 2, 2009 11:26 a.m.

    That 50% of LDS responded that they learned about the church history through "The Work and the Glory", a book of fiction, says it all. The truth is the LDS are not prepared to hear the real truth about their own history because it is so far different than what has been previously taught in easy to read, faith promoting books like "Truth Restored" and "Our Heritage". The irony of the whole thing is that the LDS always say "The Truth will set you free." They have no idea how real that saying is since they've been fed lies for their whole lives.

  • Hanging In There
    June 17, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    I have often said that I Love and Respect the mormon PEOPLE, but feel much differently towards the church itself. I know that the PEOPLE and CHURCH are two seperate things despite fact that members can not understand this. The TRUE hearts of the people want complete and TRUTHFUL information and answers. FACT that the members themselves recognize the NEED and are asking for TRUTH,clearly shows that the CHURCH is up to no good. Lieing is a sin. Lieing by omission is also a sin. To do BOTH as a form of 'sugar coating' the Lords name or in representation of the Lords will, is something the Lord has said is VERY wrong and will be dealt with harshly. I think this article supports my belief that the mormon PEOPLE are AWESOME,while the CHURCH, along with many who run it, ARE NOT!

  • *sigh*
    May 29, 2008 7:50 a.m.

    "When questioned about what officials with the church's correlation department which edits all church materials think about those findings, Olpin said the request for honesty "is part of what members are asking for. We have a responsibility to share that in a way that correlation will agree with, so we understand that we have limits."

    That is just anther way to say that the information will stll sanatized. This church would be much more accepted if they would just tell it like it is, but that will never happen.

    So much for 'the truth'.