McKay Coppins: McKay Coppins: The case against Mormon censorship

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  • exSWAT Glendale, az
    Sept. 27, 2010 9:41 a.m.

    Interesting this topic is on censorship. I wrote a very thoughtful opinion and it is no where to be found. I guess I will share my comments on a different site as this one practices the very practice Coppins said was bad for the soul... Keep ur heads in the sand, see how that works for you,,,

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Sept. 26, 2010 7:58 p.m.

    Who suggested mortal life should be one of following by "Blind Obedience"?

    I rejected that plan,
    I choose to think for myself,
    I choose which way to go,
    I know right from wrong,
    I can discern for myself the truth.

    In the final judgement,
    I will stand on my own merits....
    and will never need to say --
    Well so and so told me, such and such.

    Censorship - no matter how noble the cause -- is just another word for deceit...a half truth, i.e., a lie.

    I don't need a white washed history.

    That is how fables and myths and legends are created, and over time they are so watered down and discredited to the point that ultimately they become little more than jokes and are easily laughed off as pure non-sense.

    The late 20th and early 21st century is the information age.

    It is the dispensation of the restoration of all things.
    All things coming to light.
    Truth restored. All truth - no just religious.
    The pre-Millineum era when all truth shall be revealed.

    I welcome it!
    Bring it on!!!

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Sept. 26, 2010 4:31 p.m.

    More Americans have given up their faith or changed religions because of a gradual spiritual drift than because of disillusionment over their churches' policies, according to a study by the Pew Forum in 2009...NOT because they are no longer willing to abide by religious precepts as John Charity Spring says without providing any sources. The study suggests that what leads people to leave their faith is that, somehow for some reason, it isn't meeting their needs . . . religion becomes less plausible to the person".

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 26, 2010 2:53 p.m.

    We go to our meetings to feel the Spirit, and to support one another in the Gospel. Because of the limited amount of time we have each week, we often speak in generalities, rather than details. The details are for personal study.

    We each have different interests, however. I don't care for science, for example, but I love history. So reading the church history accounts is something I've done a lot of, but I couldn't begin to tell you anything about the atom.

    The point is, our knowledge is not the same. When we're called as teachers, we can only share what we know. Some of us will be taught things in our weekly church meetings that will come as a surprise to others from different wards.

    Just because you aren't taught something in church, it doesn't mean it's not widely available information. The multiple accounts of the First Vision, the translation process, even the fact that Joseph Smith had a gun at Carthage, have all been well documented by church leaders, and have all been printed in the Ensign in the past. If something comes as a surprise, then pray about it.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    Sept. 26, 2010 10:33 a.m.

    It is interesting how some members insist that those who leave the church do so because they cannot keep the commandments or were personally offended. There is no question that some leave for those reasons. But to not acknowedge that some very obedient and unoffended members leave because of LEGITIMATE historical and doctrinal problems is naive and limits our ability to help those who struggle.

    This fact is plain and simple - there are some historical and doctrinal issues that are very troubling for some and that are legitimate concerns. And the standard response of just blaming anti's or saying to "put it on the shelf for now" just does not cut it for some.

    I know former Bishops and Stake Presidents who simply could not continue to live with the disconnect they felt between what they learned and what they were always taught and felt pressure to teach themselves.

    My point is to simply say that sometimes we have to be transparent, empathize, and stop spinning or blaming. The LDS doctrine has phenominal truths. It is a shame that many abandon that because some of us just don't know how to respond or relate to them.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Sept. 26, 2010 9:04 a.m.

    Censorship is always bad. Censorship has no place in religion. I really can't believe some people are debating this.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Sept. 26, 2010 8:41 a.m.

    I can't believe some of these comments! People are actually defending censorship?! Censorship is ALWAYS wrong. It should have no place in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  • ex missionary Sandy, UT
    Sept. 25, 2010 9:10 p.m.

    I'm a sixth generation Utah mormon. I've returned from my 2 year mission with honor, served in young men's presidencies, sunday school presidencies, elder's quorum presidencies, and taught gospel doctrine. I testified of the gospel for decades. Full of the spirit, I was sure the church was true.

    Why do I no longer attend? Because I'm convinced the church is not true.

    Do I have problems with obedience? No, the only reasons I would fail a temple recommend interview would be related to my lack of participation and belief.

    Did the church's seminary and sunday school version of history play a role in my life? Yes, I would have left much earlier in my life if the church were more up front about it's past.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Sept. 25, 2010 12:03 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska: Censorship and Brigham Young: "I have many a time,in this stand,dared the world to produce as mean devils as we can,we can beat them at anything[BYU football]. We have the greatet and smoothest liars in the world,the cunningest and most adroit thieves,and any other shade of character that you can mention. We can pick out Elders in Israel right here who can beat the world in gambling who can hanlde the cards,cut and shuffle them with the smartest rogue on the face of God's footstool. I can produce Elders here who can shave their smartest shavers and take their money from them. We can beat the world at any game. We can beat them,because we have men here that live in the light of the Lord,that have the Holy Priesthood and hold the keys of the kingdom of God." (JoD v,4 p.77).

  • Richard Hitchens Layton, UT
    Sept. 25, 2010 9:21 a.m.

    I don't like how Mormons portray those who choose to leave the church.
    There are plenty of people who believed in it just as much as you do, but they choose to leave. Obviously you find this troubling. If they've had similar experiences and knowledge as you, why would they leave? Do they know something that you don't? Have they come to some realization that you haven't? What is their thought process? It's far easier to believe that they leave because they're sinners.

  • Richard Hitchens Layton, UT
    Sept. 25, 2010 9:04 a.m.

    @Utah Fan 11:23
    When the "Martyrdom" of Joesph Smith is depicted in church videos he never has a gun. Even though you can find in other church materials that he did have one. Can you honestly say that it is an honest depiction of the events? Omitting parts of the story is dishonest. Just because it exists in some reference material doesn't make it okay to omit it.

  • Bill in Nebraska Omaha, NE
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:18 p.m.

    TO JAX and cmtam:

    It really boils down to the fact that many who have left the Church is because they never had a fool testimony of the Church. They have Word of Wisdom problems and feel outsided. I have visted with many and it is my experience that they could not live by the precepts of Mormonism. The LDS Church is not a weekly Church service and then doing what ever I please. It is completely a way of life. Many can not accept that at all. Some of them have put the leaders of the Church on a pedastal and then when they find out differently they leave. That is strickly pride. I stand by my last comment. You may not agree but those are the facts.

    Faith without works is dead. You must try to live your life as well as you can and in the end it will be the grace of Jesus Christ that saves you. I suggest you both read and study the talants parable again.

  • HCW Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 24, 2010 7:17 p.m.

    @cmtam | 2:39 p.m. Sept. 24, 2010
    Lake Forest, Ca
    ADN: Censorship,"If Joseph made up all of this religion, why would he portray himself in such a negative light like in the Doctrine and Covenants",
    Hard to tell. Do you have(D&C 17:22-23)? I do.

    What D&C edition are you using? There are only nine verses in Section 17

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    IT NOT a question of censorhip,

    it is question of what is most important.

    you can acknowledge flaws and mistakes,

    but dwelling on them, making a big deal out of them, serves no purpose,

    unless your purpose is to personally attack someone.

    Everyone has flaws and makes mistakes,
    they show you are human,
    but do not tell you who you are.

    flaws and mistake show you Joseph Smith's humanity,
    but they do not tell you who he is.

  • John Charity Spring Alloway, NJ
    Sept. 24, 2010 4:38 p.m.

    Censorship has long been used as an excuse by those who abandon religion. In reality, censorship has nothing to do with it.

    Study after study has revealed that those who abandon religion do so because they are no longer willing to abide by religious precepts. Those who are honest must admit this truth, rather than censor the real reason.

    The uncensored truth is that it is hard to live by the precepts of religion. Indeed, the values of moderation, prudence, and chastity are all looked down upon by modern society. That is why many have lost their way.

  • cmtam lake forest, ca
    Sept. 24, 2010 2:39 p.m.

    ADN: Censorship,"If Joseph made up all of this religion, why would he portray himself in such a negative light like in the Doctrine and Covenants",
    Hard to tell. Do you have(D&C 17:22-23)? I do.

    I left the Church because, like the song "Amazing Grace", "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith,and this this not from yourselves it is the gift of God,not by works so no one can boast(verse 10)For we re God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to 'do good works',which God prepared in advance for us to do."(Ephesians 2:8-10). Good works should follow salvation, I am not a carnal Christian, I beleive in the Lorship of Jesus Christ. I did not leave the Mormon Church over censorship or people,but if I try to post some things the Prophets have said ,in the past, that the Chruch does not like I get censored.

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 2:18 p.m.

    "That is about 99% of all reasons for leaving."

    Actually Bill, there are many web sites online where people that have left the church gather for support and socializing. From what I've observed, the vast majority left the church because they no longer believed that the church is "true", usually because they learned things that are true but not faith promoting. I encourage you to make an attempt to talk to some of these people about their feelings. Try to understand where they are coming from. I also encourage you look up John Dehlin who has made a name for himself (as an active member) trying to help members like yourself try to understand the real reasons people leave the church, rather than the canned reasons you might reflexively state in Sunday School class.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Sept. 24, 2010 2:12 p.m.

    I agree with Utah Fan. Mr. Coppins has presumed church censorship without providing any examples. Would you care to provide your references of church censorship Mr. Coppins?

  • ADN Weiser, ID
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:38 p.m.

    The revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants show a prophet who is chastised and rebuked and told to repent on multiple occasions. I think that Joseph struggled with people who thought he was divine, against the people who didn't think a prophet was needed today. He was trying to educate people that there is a need for a prophet to speak on behalf of the Lord to His children. He also was trying to let them know that he was mortal, yes, he made mistakes and had problems. But, he still was a prophet of the Lord.

    If Joseph made up all of this religion, why would he portray himself in such a negative light like in the Doctrine and Covenants?

  • Bill in Nebraska Omaha, NE
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:15 p.m.

    I agree with those above as far as censorship in the Church is concerned. Many of the so called half truths about Joseph Smith is being based on life today, not in the mid 1800s. I have found that those who have left the Church have done more on having their feelings hurt or never really had a testimony of the truth. Also, when someone begins to think they no more about the Gospel than the President of the Church they are on their way to leaving the Church. Even Moses made his mistakes and was for all purposes not allowed to enter the Promised Land.

    People who leave the Church because they feel they never received the WHOLE TRUTH were basically looking for a reason in the first place. I know many people who have stayed with the Church because of hurt feelings because they know that the Gospel is true, but people are imperfect. I also feel th biggest reason people live is their own pride. That is about 99% of all reasons for leaving.

  • sharrona layton, Ut
    Sept. 24, 2010 12:10 p.m.

    Church Histroy tends to censor Brigham Young,"...when you feel like killing some of the people did who called themselves brethren in the days of Joseph Smith,look out for yourselves,for false brethern were the cause of Joseph's death,and I am not a righteous man." (JoD vol 3. p.49)Who killed Joseph?

  • Utah Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    I am not convinced the Church has "censored" its history, as claimed by critics or even yourself, if that is what you are claiming. Yes, we don't learn in Sunday School about a stone in a hat while Joseph translated the Book of Mormon, or the full history in Joseph and plural marriage. But that information (and far more) HAS been available in other LDS sources - you just had to look for it - and I have found it myself for 25 years. I don't go to Sunday services to learn about details of church history. I have done that on my own time for the past 25 years. I go to Sunday services to have a wonderful spiritual experience - learning about the simplicities of the gospel.

    The problem is not church censorship. The problem has been a lack of detailed study by most members, which is fine with me. Members can study details on their own. Just because I have done it does not make me superior or inferior. Now, we are simply discovering that it is beneficial for more members to understand church history in more detail. Many more are doing that which is good.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Sept. 24, 2010 10:15 a.m.

    the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored through Joseph Smith is not censored. Censorship happened long before the flood and the arc with Noah bringing 8 soles through. Mankind is imperfect and prophets are like the rest of us and Joseph Smith was called to bring forth the gospel in it's fullness which he did. Only through Jesus Christ can we be saved and return to our Heavenly home.

  • Jax Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 24, 2010 8:29 a.m.

    "Censorship is bad for the soul."

    Well put McKay. I've talked with many Mormons that have left the church upon discovering the more accurate history of the church. Often the complaint is that the information itself wouldn't have been as damaging if the church would have been more forth-coming and honest about it. Many feel betrayed and suspect an that they were intentionally deceived.