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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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The Book of Mormon
1. The primary translation method occurred by Joseph Smith putting his face in a hat and reading a rock known as a seer stone. Despite this, the Church frequently misrepresents the method Joseph used to translate.

2. There is
no archaeological evidence of the Book of Mormon.

3. The Book of Mormon is filled with anachronisms.

4. DNA evidence shows that Native Americans do not come from Middle Eastern heritage. Recently, the Church changed its claim that "the Lamanites are the principal ancestors of the American Indians" to the Lamanites "are among the ancestors of the American Indians".

5. Many Book of Mormon names and places are strikingly similar to local name and places that Joseph Smith would have been familiar with. Such a resemblance is too close to be a coincidence.

6. The Book of Mormon teaches a Trinitarian view of the Godhead. Joseph Smith's early theology also held this view.

7. Rather than translating with Divine help, evidence supports that Joseph Smith 
plagiarized a significant portion of the Book of Mormon from the Bible, Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews and other books contemporary to Joseph’s time. 

8. For a book Joseph Smith claimed to be "the most correct of any book on earth," it is suspicious that the text has undergone nearly 4,000 changes. Most of the changes, apologists argue, are small grammatical or punctuation fixes. However, there have been significant doctrinal revisions as well.

9. The Book of Mormon includes Biblical passages that were later changed in Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible. These Book of Mormon verses should match the inspired JST version instead of the KJV version that Joseph later revised.

10. The story of Laban in First Nephi illustrates that God's command must invariably be followed, even if it means committing murder. This is a dangerous message that inspires religious extremism

11. The Book of Mormon quotes Bible verses written after 600 B.C. In other words, these passages didn't yet exist when Lehi left Jerusalem.

The Book of Abraham and Other Translation Issues
12. Despite Joseph's claim that this record was written by Abraham "by his own hand upon papyrus", scholars have found the original papyrus Joseph translated and have dated it in first century AD, nearly 2,000 years after Abraham could have written it.

13. Egyptologists have found the source material for the Book of Abraham to be nothing more than a common funerary text. Joseph was completely wrong in his translation.

14. The Church has denied that Joseph made Abrahamic claims about the papyrus, but still insists that "a testimony of the truthfulness of the book of Abraham is not found in an analysis of physical evidence nor historical background, but in prayerful consideration of its content and power."

15. Joseph was fooled into thinking the Kinderhook plates were ancient records and even attempted to translate them. This demonstrates that he had no real gifts of translation or Divine revelation.

16. Joseph Smith showed his ineptitude for translation when he declared a Greek Psalter to be Egyptian hieroglyphics. 

Polygamy and Polyandry
17. Joseph Smith illegally married at least 33 women, some of whom were as young as 14 years old. Some of Joseph's marriages were secured by promising salvation or threatening damnation.

18. Joseph Smith married at least 8 to 11 women who were already married to other men . This practice is known as polyandry. In some cases, Joseph married the wives of men whom he had sent away on missions.  Brigham Young also married other men's wives.

19. It is known that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy, but it is also true that Joseph was accused of sexual impropriety multiple times in several states before the practice of polygamy was revealed and commanded. 

20. Joseph Smith and a young woman named Fanny Alger engaged in what Oliver Cowdery called "a dirty, nasty, filthy affair". Even if Joseph married Fanny as is claimed, he would have had no civil or spiritual authority to do so

21. Leaders of the Church, starting with Joseph Smith, systematically lied about practicing polygamy. Even recent leaders have been deceptive about when and why polygamy was practiced.

22. Joseph Smith routinely lied to his wife Emma about his extra-monogamous activities, often making her feel alone, abused and foolish. Why would God reveal a commandment to His prophet that would require such deception?

23. In 1886, John Taylor received a revelation regarding the practice of plural marriage. In the revelation, the Lord told Taylor "I have not revoked this law, nor will I, for it is everlasting." Four years later, Wilford Woodruff contradicted Taylor's revelation by issuing the 1890 Manifesto.

24. The Church historically lied and presently still lies in telling the membership and outside media that polygamy ended in 1890. In actuality, Church-sanctioned and performed plural marriages continued until 1904 and beyond.

25Jacob 2:24 reads, "Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord." D&C 132:38-39 reads, "David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon ... and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me. David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me." This is one example of many scriptural inconsistencies in LDS canon. 

26. The Church allowed an adulterer, Richard Lyman, to serve as an apostle for 18 years before excommunicating him. Although it appears that fellow members of the quorum did not know about Lyman's adultery, these "prophets, seers, and revelators" should have had the spirit of discernment to know of Lyman's unworthiness.

27. Doctrine & Covenants 121:36 teaches that "the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven", and can be "handled only upon the principles of righteousness." Given this fact, ordinances performed unrighteously (such as those by Apostle Lyman for 18 years) should not be acceptable in the eyes of God or the Church. However, such ordinances are rarely, if ever, re-performed.

The Establishment of the Church
28. In defiance of God's command to not join any churches, Joseph Smith tried to join the Methodist Church.

29. Joseph Smith told multiple different versions of the events surrounding the First Vision. He waffled on key details including when it happened and what he saw.

30. The First Vision was not taught in church until at least 12 years after it happened. Why would such a miraculous event not be shared at the outset?

31. Between the time of the First Vision and the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith was convicted of fraud for taking clients' money under false claims that he could detect the whereabouts of hidden treasure.

32. Several early accounts published by the Church claim that the angel who visited Joseph Smith was Nephi. This confusion calls into question the veracity of an actual angelic visit.

33. Given its dimensions and weight, the Gold Plates would have been quite difficult to transport. So the story of Joseph escaping from attackers while carrying the plates is far-fetched.

34. The Church uses the testimony of the Three and Eight Witnesses to support the authenticity of the Gold Plates. But there are significant problems with these testimonies, including that one of the witnesses claimed to see the plates only with "spiritual eyes". 

35. Brigham Young claimed that there was a cave located at the Hill Cumorah containing "wagon loads" of ancient records "piled up in the corners and along the walls". No such cave has ever been found. 

36. Although the Priesthood is now taught to have been restored in 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery made no such claim until at least 1834. Why did it take five years for Joseph to tell members of the Church about the Priesthood?

37. The name of the restored Church was changed several times in the first few years after it was established. Why would a prophet receiving revelation have to revise the proper name of God's Church so many times?

The Word of Wisdom
38. Joseph Smith smoked tobacco and drank tea, coffee, and alcohol long after he revealed the Word of Wisdom. In fact, Joseph Smith at one time had a bar in his house and also drank wine at Carthage shortly before he died. 

39. Although apologists argue that the Word of Wisdom was initially a suggestion and not a commandment, Joseph Smith taught "that no official member in this Church is worthy to hold an office" if he neglects to obey the Word of Wisdom. By his own teaching, Joseph was not worthy to hold his calling of prophet.

40. Joseph Smith and other early leaders taught that because animals had spirits, they should only be eaten in times of "dire necessity". Not only does the Church ignore this aspect of the Word of Wisdom, it also acts in direct defiance and hypocrisy by owning and operating the largest cattle ranch in the United States. 

41. Brigham Young owned a distillery in Utah and sold whiskey to saints for Pioneer Day celebrations.

42. The official change of the Word of Wisdom from principle to requirement came with no claim of Divine instruction. On the contrary, the shift seems to have taken place for political reasons surrounding Prohibition and desire for mainstream Christian acceptance.

The Temple
43. Members are taught to believe that Joseph Smith received the endowment through revelation. However, much of the temple ceremony was copied directly from Masonry. 

44. The Church requires an oath of commitment from temple participants before the participant knows to what he or she is committing.

45. Until 1990, the temple ceremony contained violent penalties requiring members to make symbolic gestures of slitting their own throats and bowels. Recent Church leaders have been dishonest about these penalties.

46. The removal of these penalties, among other changes, came not by revelation but as a result of a 1988 survey that found that many members were uncomfortable with the endowment. 

47. As disturbing as the temple penalties are, the fact that the ceremony changed is also troublesome because Joseph Smith taught that "ordinances instituted in the heavens are not to be altered or changed."

48. Leaders of the Church have allowed baptisms for dead Holocaust victims, despite promising not to do so. 

The Death of Joseph Smith and Succession Crisis
49. The Church portrays Joseph Smith as a martyr jailed and killed for being a "lover of the cause of Christ" He was actually killed for destroying private property, trying to marry other men's wives, sharing Masonic secrets, anointing himself King of the world, and other reasons. 

50. Church leaders teach that Joseph Smith destroyed the Nauvoo Expositor because it told anti-Mormon lies. In actuality, the newspaper truthfully exposed the Prophets extra-monogamous relationships, among other clandestine behaviors. 

51. Joseph Smith claimed that he was going to Carthage "like lamb to the slaughter". What the Church doesn't teach is that Joseph had a gun in jail and shot several of his attackers. 

52. Joseph Smith set apart his son, Joseph III, to succeed him as prophet. Brigham Young admitted this, but ultimately refused to cede his own leadership to Joseph III. 

Failed Prophecies, False Doctrine, and Modern Revelation
53. Joseph Smith taught that the moon is inhabited, and that its inhabitants are 6 feet tall and dressed like Quakers. Brigham Young also taught that the moon is inhabited, as well as the sun.

54. Through revelation, Joseph Smith assembled an army of saints to walk to Missouri to redeem Zion. Known as Zion's camp, this march resulted in the death of 14 men and did not accomplish what it set out to do. However, the church still teaches that this chapter of church history was actually a test for future leaders and ultimately a success.

55. After Joseph Smith's prophecy to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon failed, he explained it away by saying that some prophecies come from the devil.

56. Joseph Smith made a number of other prophecies that never came to pass. Apologists use manipulative tactics to justify Joseph's failures.

57. Brigham Young taught that Adam is our father and God, a teaching that later prophets have admitted as not trueMore broadly, apostles have told us that the Lord permits false doctrine to be taught within the church. 

58. Wilford Woodruff pronounced "the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray." Unfortunately, this promise has been proven to be untrue.

59. Members of the Church are taught that prophets talk to God and speak for God. But some modern-day prophets admitted that they had never seen, heard, or received revelations from God

60. The Quorum of the Twelve and members of the First Presidency are sustained as "prophets, seers, and revelators". Regardless, they haven't prophesied, seen, or revealed much of anything over the last 100 years. 

Revising and Suppressing History
61. The Church has changed the dates of events in the D&C in order to make Joseph's conflicting claims appear more plausible.

62. In the 1980's Church leaders bought forged documents that they believed to be authentic, with the intention of suppressing them. Not only does this event discredit the notion that the Brethren have the spirit of discernment, it also shows the extent to which the Church will try to hide information that disproves the Church's exclusive Truth claims.

63. The "Teachings of Brigham Young" manual dishonestly implies that Brigham was a monogamist by listing only two non-concurrent wives. Church editors have also changed all of Brigham's mentions of "wives" to "wife".

64. For years, Church leaders have told the untrue story that Thomas B. Marsh left the church over "milk strippings". In truth, Marsh left in large part because he didn't agree with the violent practices of the Danites

65. Brigham Young said "I have never preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture." Despite this prophetic utterance, later church leaders have dismissed as non-scriptural the Journal of Discourses, from which this quote and many other of Brigham's teachings come.

66. Boyd K. Packer and other church leaders have openly advocated obscuring and editing history by teaching us that "some things that are true are not very useful."  

67. The Church stifles honest scholarship of Mormonism, going as far as excommunicating people who find and publish history that contradicts the Church's narrative.

Other Dishonest Practices
68. The Church reports inflated and inaccurate membership numbers.

69. The 12th article of Faith states that "we believe in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." One way in which the Church ignores its own counsel is by baptizing illegal immigrants, and even giving them leadership callings

70. The Church has knowingly allowed and at times encouraged unethical missionary recruiting practices including baseball baptisms in the U.K. and soccer baptisms in Latin America.

71. Leaders pursued plans to build a nine-story addition to the Missionary Training Center, despite having promised that no MTC building would ever exceed four stories.

72. Church leaders teach members to bear testimony in order to obtain one. This is a manipulative practice that leads to confirmation bias.

73. When asked whether Mormons believe that God was once a man, Gordon B. Hinckley dishonestly said "I don't know that we teach it. I don't know that we emphasize it."

Violent History
74. Brigham Young and other Church leaders taught that some sins were so serious that they were beyond the reach of Christ's atonement. These sins, Young taught, could only be atoned for by literally spilling the blood of the sinner upon the earth. 

75. In the past, the Church tried to deny Young's violent teaching. Now, most leaders admit that it was taught but denounce it as a false doctrine

76. The Church has never truthfully admitted to, or apologized for, its involvement in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a tragedy in which 120 emigrants were brutally slaughtered by Mormons at the command of Church leadership.

77. Brigham Young wrote a letter to Bishop Warren Snow of Manti, approving of violent actions taken by Snow. The Bishop had castrated a young man who was courting a woman Snow wanted to take as his own plural wife. 

Treatment of Blacks, Women, and Homosexuals
78. Even though Joseph Smith ordained a black man to the priesthood, the Church institutionally denied individuals of African descent full blessings of membership for over 100 years.

79. For many years, leaders of the Church taught that dark skin is a curse that is caused by inferiority and sub-par valiance in the pre-existence. Some leaders have even suggested that dark skinned "members of the Church are changing to whiteness and delightsomeness."

80. Despite overwhelming evidence of racism in the early modern Church, leaders continue to claim that the reason for the priesthood ban is unknown. As such, the Church has never admitted error or apologized for excluding blacks from the priesthood.

81. For many years, Church leaders taught that African Americans could only enter the Celestial Kingdom as servants

82. Unbeknownst to most members of the Church, early Latter-day Saint women were given a form of the priesthood, which they used to bless others by the laying on of hands. Despite this precedence, women in the Church today do not hold the priesthood

83. The Church has a long history of discriminating against women and teaching that they are to be subordinate to men. 

84. In campaigning against marriage equality on Prop 8 in 2008, the Church violated requirements of  tax exempt organizations. These actions contradict the charge to obey, honor, and sustain the law.

85. Many homosexual members feel guilt, depression, and shame as a result of the stiff anti-gay rhetoric taught by church leaders. Some have even been driven to suicide.

86. In the 1970's, LDS-owned Brigham Young University conducted electroshock therapy on gay students to try to make them straight. 

Finances and Commercial Ventures
87. The Church refuses to disclose its finances, even to its tithe-paying members. This fact is even more discouraging given President Hinckley saying that financial "information belongs to those who made the contribution". 

88. In Kirtland, Joseph Smith set up an illegal bank that ultimately failed and caused many of the saints to lose their money. There is also evidence showing that Joseph intentionally misrepresented the solvency of his institution.

89. Despite being "lay clergy", mission presidents receive a significant amount of financial benefits from the Church. What is more disturbing, however, is that these leaders are explicitly told not to disclose information on funds received, even to tax advisers or the government. 

90. The Church spent billions of dollars for the recently completed City Creek Center. That the "only True and living Church on the face of the earth" would spend so much on a self-serving, for-profit venture is discouraging.

91. Even if no tithing funds were used for City Creek, as the Church claims, nearly all non-tithing funds in possession of the church are derived from tithing

92. The Church, which preaches and expects
 modesty in dress and abstinence from alcohol, is hypocritical in its advertising of the City Creek mall. 

Defending the Faith
93. The Church relies on FAIR, FARMS and other apologists to defend the faith, but intentionally keeps some distance in order to maintain plausible deniability.

94. Church leaders often teach us that "warm feelings" are more valid in determining truth than actual, verifiable scholarship.

95. The Church ignores the issues and questions of sincere truth-seeking members of the Church. We earnestly petition the Church to provide official, honest, and complete responses to these issues. 


  1. You forgot to use a second quotation mark at 58.

  2. Brilliant! This is well compiled & written!

    This deserves to receive a response!

  3. FYI: The FB event link doesn't work -- just goes to the Facebook home page.

  4. Others having problems with this? It is working for me...

  5. Great job narrowing the list down to only 95 things. I love the intent for honesty but that is not something the church leadership can offer and at the same time maintain its divine claims. Their only defense is to literally demonize those that seek and value truth over all else and keep the rest of their members in the dark. Actions like this event are really creative at how they can strike at the heart of what the church leadership fears the most--members to become informed of verifiable truths.

  6. Regarding #72, a psychological phenomenon that's more relevant to testimony bearing than confirmation bias is the insufficient justification effect. See

  7. This is so hilarious !

    Thanks for giving me such a great read.

    I can see why you don't use your real name. XD

    1. Is Zoober Nine your real name. Your parents have quite a sense of humorous!

  8. I wonder what Martin Luther's 95 theses would have looked like had his first points been criticism's against the biblical text????

    In other words, as I understand the 95 theses, it was essentially a theological critique against the pope for reaching beyond his authority in the offering of indulgences to the common people. His justification was a conservative theological framework that was based in scripture and theological tradtition. If however, Martin Luther had had issues with the Bible, I give him enough credit to believe that he wouldn't have bothered trying to reform the "Church". The first 16 points of this theses serve ultimately to invalidate the Church and it's I'm not sure Luther's complaint is a good historical template for these issues.

  9. "The first 16 points of this theses serve ultimately to invalidate the Church and it's I'm not sure Luther's complaint is a good historical template for these issues."

    Perhaps you might want to re-read his first two points: Educate and Influence. I think the point is to encourage full disclosure and open discussion of the issues that are real, true and important to thoughtful members of the LDS church. I think the most important section here is the Financial section. The Church should be honest and disclose what they are doing with monies entrusted to them. Financial sacredness is unbecoming of an organization requiring members to adhere to a strict honesty code for entering their temple.

    1. David-

      That was a dodge. The very first items on the list serve to invalidate The Book of Mormon, ie, the "keystone" of Mormonism. Martin Luther never tried to invalidate the "Church" fact, a point a friend once made, that seemed to resonate with me, was that Luther's biggest problem was that he more Catholic than the Pope.

      The point is not to "educate" or "influence" Church leaders, but simply to erode the theological foundations by exposing it's contradictions, thereby reducing the influence of Church leaders. Your message, David, isn't the problem, rather it's your inability to be forthright about your intentions.

  10. I always find it interesting that people out there are so against the church that they have to post things like this. These arent new revelations. Most of them have been discussed for a long time but no anti Mormons listen to the answers given. The LDS church promotes happiness, family values, being kind to your neighbor, chasity, fidelity, honesty, good work ethic and so many other great qualities. Members are known for being generally good people and wonderful neighbors. So what if you think what we believe is incorrect or dumb. What harm is it to you if we choose to live as we do? Don't agree with us, that is fine, but what reason do you have to act like this. It is clear to me that you don't understand why people convert to the LDS church. An honest and open reading of the Book of Mormon, with a prayer in your heart for understanding may help you to either believe as we do or simply let us alone knowing that our pursuits are pure.

    1. There is little doubt that Mormons are good people. There are few Mormons I know that I dislike. That's not the point. There are lots of good people outside the church as well. This list is not a savage or unsubstantiated attack, it is a clear and concise list of some very real problems within the Mormon church's beliefs and claims and it includes a plethora of citation.

      You say that these aren't new issues; that they've been discussed and anti-mormons refuse to listen to the answers. What answers? Your post provided none, and in all my research, I have found none. There are apologist explanations that are hardly satisfactory, but the church maintains a stance of "We don't know." Please, I'm genuinely interested, take just 5 of these issues and present a real explanation.

      I was raised a Mormon, and I agree that the church teaches good values. However, they are not exclusive to the church, nor do they excuse what has been posted here. I am an atheist, and yet still observe these positive traits. Morality and decency don't come from religion. I have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon many times during the 19 years I was a Mormon, and I received no revelation or answer. What I have received is verifiable evidence that it is a false document.

    2. If the same honest, open person was to read first Nephi in the Book of Mormon and then follow that up with the book "The Adventures of Marco Polo", written only a few years before the BOM, that same person would be able to easily obtain that it is plagiarism.

      For example, in the Adventures of Marco Polo, there was a high priest in the book called LAMA who lived near a fountain (river). During his travels, he would use a compass called a LIHOANG

      Elsewhere around the same time, a gentlemen by the name of ALMA who lived near a fountain (river) also traveled with a compass, but his was called the LIAHONA.

      I’ve wondered if Lama and Alma ever met in Moroni, capital city of the Komoros islands, but that can’t be concluded.

    3. I had a biology professor, (non-mormon) who once said that whatever your belief, you can find evidence to support it, AND to detract from the beliefs of others. There are several websites where one can find answers to questions about most of these questions, you obviously have not read much of the literature:

    4. "was raised a Mormon, and I agree that the church teaches good values. However, they are not exclusive to the church, nor do they excuse what has been posted here"

      This is not to argue against Harry-Blasfimir's points, but to just put a finer point on them from my perspective. The Mormon Church loves to promote its sense of "values", and act as though they somehow how deserve credit for providing the world with "morality". The fact is, the Church's values have never been consistent, and those things that they point to as values, such as Families and family values, were only co-opted from the broader society. In fact, a historical survey of Mormonism's history with "family values" suggests a far different interpretation of said values, than what we get from their current position on the family.

    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    6. Resubmitting with some typos corrected:

      Anna my experience with the modern church is very different than yours - I was an active member for 39 years.

      While I agree that many members of the LDS church exhibit many of the qualities you list, and that the church engenders many of those qualities, there any many negative aspects to the LDS church.

      To rephrase the cliche "The church is perfect, but the people aren't" I've found it to be more then case that "the people are wonderful, but the church is deeply flawed."

      The problems with the structure, doctrines, and leadership of the LDS church is a lengthy discussion. However at a high level I find that the LDS church:
      1) Has become a letter of the law, punitive organization. Much like what Jesus taught against with the Pharisees and Sadducees. For example, "Neither do I condemn thee, go thy way and sin no more", is not the response of a person caught in adultery.
      2) The church has a long history and continues to be involved in discrimination against women, blacks, Indians, and gays.
      3) The church practices public shaming - a barbaric practice (for example which occurs when members are not allowed to take the sacrament, usually for private sins that are no ones business.)
      4) The church takes from families that it claims to support. This is most pronounced with bishops whose families are often referred to as priesthood widows & priesthood orphans. I grew up in such a home where my father neglected his family for the church.
      5) The church doctrine engenders a sense of inferiority complex in it's members. The todo list is so long that it can never be done. Even if you are fully active you probably feel guilty for not writing in your journal, not having your food storage up, not doing enough family history work, not magnifying your calling enough, or another of the nearly infinite list of todos.
      6) I personally anticipate being excluded from my children's temple weddings, not because I am a bad person, but because my beliefs are not correct. I told my bishop I was willing to pay tithing, attend church, etc. He took my temple recommend away only because I didn't believe the president of the LDS church is not a prophet. Mormons say this is OK to exclude family from weddings because that is how God wants it, but in truth, it is morally reprehensible.

      It gets so silly that a member could be excluded for drinking iced Green Tea while another could be allowed to attend that drinks Rockstar (with many times the amount of caffeine as green tea) or another who drink decaffeinated hot coffee.

      This is illustrated quite well here:

      Mormonism claims to have a solution for the world's problems yet it has a lousy track record. I find the statistics for Utah very telling:

    7. Anna, my experience with the Mormon Church would have remained the same if I did not come to Utah. I have great mentors and friends who are LDS. I have also seen some of the most corrupt, hateful and dishonest people who were or are in the high ranks of the church and of the government where they make decisions that determine whether someone lives or dies. People outside the US are always alarmed when I share real experiences, mine and those of others, about Mormons in power.

      The corrupt Mormon leaders are in my view a disgrace to those in their church who really represent love and honesty.

  11. Anna~ I find it really interesting that you assume the individuals supportive of this aren't members... I'm an active, temple-recommend holding, member of 45 years and my current calling is Public Affairs. I thoroughly look forward to the First Presidency's Vault being opened and all the documents/ephemera being made public... Why haven't they scanned and placed it on already? I have always wanted to know the Prophet Joseph Smith better. We have millions and millions of microfiche digitized for genealogy that we members are now asked to help abstract online... Why can't we view our founding Prophet's original journals, letters, etc? I believe God is powerful enough to manage putting together all the genealogy He needs... I have ancestors who were Canadian indian -- they don't have any records -- yet they will still be ok, I have no doubt; just like the numerous African tribes and others around the world who didn't keep records.
    Actually getting out in our communities and performing service to those in need, to Love One Another, as the Savior taught, would provide infinite good to us and those in need (children in our failing schools need help learning to read -- anyone who can read, can tutor a child; the elderly need grocery shopping and light housekeeping/home maintenance done; inner city neighborhoods need help creating community gardens to provide healthy foods and teach healthy eating... And on and on and on.). Yet we are going to sit complacently back behind our computer screens BELIEVING WE ARE THE ONES WHO WILL BE SAVED????
    Transparency and a New Positive Direction, that's what we need.

  12. I agree with much of your list, but I also feel that it misses much of what Luther was attempting to do. Putting bills up on church doors was not unusual at the time, for many used it as a common bulletin board. He was seeking academic and theological discussion at the university. There are people asking these questions and honestly seeking answers outside of apologetics.

    Personally, I believe a buckshot approach will fall onto deaf ears. Due to the large amount of historical information and conclusions present in the document it will be labeled as "anti-Mormon" and thus ignored by a large group of Mormonism.

    If your wish is to educate and reform, it must be taken in small steps. The institutional church merely digs into a trench when attacked directly, but is able to be moved by honest questions and diligent study.

    Change will come, but not this way.

    1. This is exactly how change happens. From national revolutions to interpersonal relationships--get enough people talking and change will surely follow.

  13. It's also about stopping the deception/"managed perception" of an organization who has ruined thousands of lives by allowing Pedophilia/sex abuse to run rampant in Boy Scouts and members' homes -- I have more than 1 girlfriend who was sexually abused at the hands of her father & uncles who were, of all things, Bishops & Stake Leaders!

    As well as the numerous suicides by Gay youth... and that SLC/Provo have some of the highest per capita rates of mental health hospitals in the country... The Church's obfuscated doctrines are not just erroneous & twisted -- they are HARMFUL!

    As is the case with most of the good things we try to do in the world... Sharing the TRUTH is also about PROTECTING CHILDREN.

    Please review just a few of the numerous articles about the molestation cases the Church is settling out of court to avoid damaging their wholesome image:

    Child Abuse Cover-Up Costs Mormon Church $3 Million -- re> PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/

    Child Abuse Cover-Up Costs Mormon Church $3 Million. Church Continues to Deny Responsibility Despite Ten Prior Warnings to Church Officials and 1983 Excommunication of Priest for Molesting Boys At Least 20 Other

    After admitting that "30-50% of the Boy Scout troops across the nation in the mid-1980s were chartered by the Mormon Church, (which has already settled its portion of the lawsuit)", an attorney testifying for the Church has the audacity to blame the parents for trusting a Scout Leader to not harm their sons:

    I am a CHRISTIAN first and foremost, He is my Savior -- not Joseph Smith.

  14. Really well done. I am half tempted to post this around BYU, but anonymity is still my friend...
    I think truth is what is needed as the anathema to the deceit and misdirection from the LDS church.

  15. There is one huge logical fallacy present here: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon–which does exist, does not constitute proof, nor does it translate into belief.

    Many of these questions are answerable to any who will listen, but most of you will not listen. Your goal is not to promote understanding, but hate.

    Wouldn't it be better to stand for something good, for something that you believe in, than to stand against a certain group or people. You are wasting so much time and energy doing the latter.

    1. Absence of evidence is evidence when there is a mountain of evidence in favor of a contradictory claim. If there isn't any evidence showing that it was the Eskimos that built the great pyramids, it is intellectually honest and scientifically sound to assume that they did not because of all the evidence showing it was the Egyptians who built them.

      There isn't any DNA evidence supporting the idea of ancient Israelites inhabiting ancient America or archaeological evidence of their writing, art or culture--therefore, it is intellectually honest and scientifically sound to assume that they did not. Of course we most withhold judgment when we lack evidence but when it comes to ancient Israelites in the Americas, we do not lack evidence. We know from whom native Americans descend and we know who occupied the Americas during Book of Mormon time periods.

  16. I don't understand why it's labeled a "reformation."

    Martin Luther acknowledged the authority and virtue of the Catholic dogma while arguing against some of its practices.

    This site denigrates it all. There is no attempt to reform, only an attempt to discard doctrine and belittle followers. It's a bullying tactic.

  17. Luke, I'm willing to bet I have spend HUNDREDS of hours more reading FAIR than you have reading MormonThink.

    Why do think pointing out facts is a bully tactic? If you want to debate, let's debate. But be specific. Tell me exactly which, if any, of my points are incorrect?

  18. Luke,I don't understand why you are assuming that these 95 Theses are an accusation of truth vs fiction? It's true that since the church's inception we have been persecuted for our beliefs at almost every turn. I view this not as persecution, but as an invitation to clear out the old dust and cobwebs. To come clean in effect.

    I think as an earlier poster said it's easy to label this as "Anti-Mormon." I don't believe it is. I believe it's "Anti-dishonesty or coverup." I think it's unfortunate that it will likely fall on deaf ears. This is a perfect time to clean house. The church's failure to come clean on these issues (come clean, not just issue a comment) will continue to damage the testimony's of those who search for answers online where these truths are laid bare for everyone's perusal.

    My question is why? If the church is true what could it possibly have to fear from these questions? Is my testimony so weak that it can't possibly withstand a little course correcting? The church may be true, but it's run by fallible, imperfect humans. No matter how inspired and chosen they are, they are still imperfect. Sometimes we act as though it's not true. Sometimes we pretend that every utterance out of their mouth, every word from their pen is the unedited word of God. It's not. They admit its not. But even now saying this outloud, it feels a little disloyal. Well if admitting they aren't perfect feels disloyal then oh my heck admitting they made mistakes and then tried to cover it up is absolutely radical thinking.

    My guess is it went something like this. President Someone made a mistake. First counselor So and So caught it. Out of his love and devotion for President Someone he covered it up. (I cover for my husbands imperfections all the time, and He's NOT the prophet.) Now President Someone realizes he's made the mistake and that his counselor has covered it up. If he comes clean about it, he makes his counselor look badly. So they look at each other and with no malice or evil intent they decide to let it go.

    Add well over 150 years of these all to human scenarios and it's a miracle we only have 95 Theses to be taped to a door. Even if you strip away the entire Book of Mormon as Hogwash, chuck the D&C, and Pearl of Great Price too. The church can STILL be true. It was true in the New Testament without benefit of those three books. Why can't it still be true now?

    Luke don't be afraid of the questions. Do not fear change. If your testimony of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the church is strong enough, you can withstand the change that should and must come. The belief that a lie told to protect the members testimony is preferable to the truth that might damage them is no credit to us as members. It weakens the fundamental structure of the church. Truth has nothing to fear. It can withstand innumerable questions. I prefer to hold on to the Iron Rod, rusty and pitted as it may be, than a burnished plastic coated facsimile.

    I love this church and I believe it is true. I believe the members can withstand this course correction. If we can't withstand this, how can we possibly withstand that which is to come.

    Luke I know this is scary and different and borderline heresy. Please do not see hatred and persecution around every corner. Help the church be stronger by pulling back the curtains and allowing the truth to see the fresh light of day. It has a far greater chance of touching more lives if it does.

  19. Very well stated Janet. I don't share your optimism but it encourages me.

    1. Thank you Michael. As Mormons we have a conditioned response to view contrary thinking as "Anti-Mormonn persecution." We shut down, put our fingers in our ears and start making the proverbial La-la-la-la sounds. We become defensive and feel the need to either turn our backs on the person bringing this up, or we counter-attack feeling righteous indignation and a need to defend the truth.

      My greatest hope is that people will examine this list. Perhaps a number of the questions will resonate with them. Perhaps they have wondered about the same thing too. As individuals, and as a church the brethren no longer need to protect us from the unvarnished truth. I think those with faith will still believe. This may be a time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

      My experience has been that those who respond as Brother Bahr did here are most worried about the strength of their own testimony. If the curtains are pulled back too far can they still believe? Some will not be able to. That is fine. If your testimony is so weak that you require lies to prop it up, then it's no real testimony to begin with. The church can and will endure. Heavenly Father will see that it is so.

    2. >>If the curtains are pulled back too far can they still believe? Some will not be able to. That is fine. If your testimony is so weak that you require lies to prop it up, then it's no real testimony to begin with. The church can and will endure. Heavenly Father will see that it is so.>>

      It is a test to evaluate your ethical levels. A lie or fraud in the name of God is not wise nor ethical.
      If a testimony is built on lies and fraud then it is no real testimony of any truth - it is a testimony of a lie. Many people have a faith-filled testimony of lie, which is a sad testament to the deterioration of society.
      Beware of people who lift lies up as a wonderful thing to attain to; then find ways to excuse them and praise them even more.
      The ethical state of humanity is very sad when people twist and contort lying into something to be praiseworthy and have faith in.
      It would be better for the Mormon prophets to rename this
      The Cult of Latter Day Satan.

      By your own logic it is more reasonable to deduce that God does not like the fraud and is exposing and revealing it as such. So be it.

    3. I guess the question is, how far will you go to believe a lie?
      How low will you stoop to explain it away?
      Will you ever be able to discern lies from ethics and integrity or will you continue to choose the side of lies and fraud in the name of God.
      Be careful who and what you praise and worship as truth.

    4. Cosma you had me until you tried to rename the church. Kind of a low blow, but your entitled to name call if makes you feel better, and I'm entitled to ignore it. I'm not sure if you understand I'm NOT the enemy here. I agree with you, I believe there is no better time than the present to debunk all the lies. For the brethren to come clean and rip the bandage off in one hard painful pull. I am recommending truth pure and simple. I agree whole heartedly that a testimony that requires lies and contortions to exist, is no real testimony.

      You have no fight here. Every one of the 95 items listed can be absolutely true and I still believe that Heavenly Father exists, that Jesus Christ is his son. that I am loved by both. That there is a plan of salvation that allows me to return to their presence if I will just avail myself of it. The rest is just stuff. Does the word of wisdom keep me healthier. Yes. Mandatory or "rule of thumb" is inconsequential to me. I follow it and have added some additions of my own like avoiding saturated fats. It's not that big a deal.

      Perhaps I'm more tolerant of their mistakes because I am fully aware of mine. I am in no position to be casting stones. But I'm also not going to swallow everything hook line and sinker because a man in a nice suit announces it from the pulpit.Heavenly Father gave me a brain and a heart with the intent that I use it.

      I sense a frustration in you, almost even a desire to rescue me and other believers from a perceived fraud. You put yourself out there for me, and I appreciate that. Thank you. I think both members and non members are hoping for a clearing of the air. I suspect you are correct that Heavenly Father does not approve of the half truths and deceits. I hope the brethren will right the ship before it's too late.

      I've read the facebook post by Anti Mormons addressing the "so called 95 theses." I hope he didn't write it, because it does members a serious diservice. True there are some that will read it and believe, but so many of the arguments are so weak that even my children over 16 could poke holes in the logic. I dislike the anger and venom in the responses. It's kinda like name calling, it doesn't further the argument. If that is the best response the general authorities can provide, then the church has a problem. It will continue to lose membership, and miss out on conversions because it refuses to respond. Then everyone loses.

  20. It would be fitting to just see a Response to these so-called 95-theses.

  21. Everyone please read Anti Mormons' responses to my Theses! I think that reading them will help prove my points more than disprove them!!!

  22. What a joke! Many of these points are just as misleading as what they accuse the LDS church of being. #51 claims Joseph Smith shot and killed two attackers... what were their names? (Hint- despite initial rumors to the contrary, there weren't any. Even wikipedia knows this)

  23. Brian, did you even check the source? This is recorded in the official History of the Church, published by the Church!!! Or do you trust Wikipedia over Church sources?

  24. I applaud your efforts! I post as bc over on RFM and as I mentioned there I am concerned that while your list is 90% accurate it does have errors. This unfortunately significantly weakens the impact and allows Mormons who have been heavily conditioned to hear that the Internet is full of lies to grab onto that concept.

    Here is one example. You state that 2 people were killed by Joseph Smith. You then link to this quote by John Taylor:

    "I shall never forget the deep feeling of sympathy and regard manifested in the countenance of Brother Joseph as he drew nigh to Hyrum, and, leaning over him, exclaimed, 'Oh! my poor, dear brother Hyrum!' He, however, instantly arose, and with a firm, quick step, and a determined expression of countenance, approached the door, and pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed died."

    It is clear from this quote that John Taylor is speaking with 2nd hand information. He is essentially stating that he heard a rumor that two people died. However, this claim is not backed up by additional data.

    "There have been conflicting reports about to what extent members of the mob were injured during the attack, and whether any of them were killed. Shortly after the events occurred, John Taylor wrote that he heard that two of the attackers died when Joseph Smith shot them with his pistol.[2]

    Granted the wikipedia isn't completely reliable, but here is what it has to say:
    Most accounts seem to agree that at least three mob members were wounded by Joseph Smith’s gunfire, but there is no other evidence that any of them died as a result of the attack. John Wills was shot in the arm; William Voras was shot in the shoulder; and William Gallaher was shot in the face.[20][26] Others claimed that a fourth unnamed man was also wounded.[27] Wills, Voras, Gallaher, and a Mr. Allen (possibly the fourth man) were all indicted for the murder of Joseph and Hyrum. Wills, Voras, and Gallaher, perhaps conscious that their wounds could prove that they were involved in the mob, fled the county after being indicted and were never brought to trial.[28] There is no evidence that Wills, Voras, Gallaher, or Allen died from their wounds[29]"

    The important point is that Joseph Smith had a gun and used it. (Personally I don't see this as one of the top 95 problems with Mormonism in that it was quite clearly self-defense.)

  25. Brian,

    I do strive to portray accurate information. I've revised the wording on #51 per your feedback.

    My point isn't that it is a terrible thing for Joseph to have had and used a gun, it is that the Church continually portrays him as a peaceful, submissive martyr. And that's simply not the case.

    1. Understood - I recognize that this is a big project and it's a huge challenge to sort out exactly what is completely verifiable - in any case a prophet, John Tailor, did claim that 2-3 died - at the time that was a good thing.

      I agree with your point. And where much of the point of your paper is that the church obscures it's history I rescind my statement that I would not include it - it really does illustrate the point well that the church obscures it's history.

      One challenge is your document kind of waffles between problems with the Mormon church and things the Mormon church obscures. If you continue to use and revise it over time, you may be able to consolidate it more.

      I mentioned these on RFM but other things I recommend you take a look at altering:

      #18 - change it to "at least 8". There are reasonably good arguments that 3 of the polyandrus wives identified by Todd Comptom are not well enough documented to be 100% sure that the marriage occurred - of course Compton is more conservative than other historians who cite more than 11.

      #28 Change it to say "applied to be a member of the Methodist church". Saying he joined the church is dicey because they denied him membership - whether he was actually a member in the 3 days between when he applied and when they kicked him out is questionable.

      #29 The first written version of the First Vision was produced in 1832, 12 years, not 22 years after it was supposed to have happened. It may be that it was not used much in the church until 1842 but that is nearly impossible to prove. The fact that no record of it exists anywhere until 12 years after the fact is a much bigger problem.

      #32 Add according to Lucy, Joseph's Mother & the Millennial Star,...

      The problem is there is no direct evidence that Joseph Smith ever said he was visited by Nephi. It is certainly highly suspicious that multiple sources state Nephi, but not 100% fact that Joseph Smith ever said it.

      #34 Specify that Martin Harris is the one who admitted he only ever saw the BoM with his "spiritual eyes". They way it is written now seems to imply that many of them admitted this.

      #55 It is important that he was attempting to sell the copyright only in Canada. JS was going to retain the rights in the US. Boy would the church be in trouble today if he had succeeded!

      #84 The statement that they violated requirements of tax exempt organization is more of an opinion than a fact. To claim someone has broken the law where there is no conviction is a bad idea. There is plenty they did wrong with Prop 8 that is fact without making an accusation that cannot be proven.

      Again - I'm not doing this to criticize you and put you down, but because I believe it is important to stick with the well established facts. When there is a little bit that is questionable it is too easy to dismiss the real problems wholesale.

      Note: I also might specify a little more the "no archeological" evidence and list some specifics instead. There arguable is some evidence - very weak evidence granted. It's more accurate and used to mention no horses at the time, no wheel used as a tool, etc. This is also a lot more powerful than a generalized statement that just feels like an attack.

      If you do want to stay with the "no archeological evidence" then qualify it with something like "according to the Smithsonian Institute, ..."

    2. Brian,

      #18 - I've seen pretty decent evidence for 11, but I'll keep looking.
      #28 - Fixed
      #30 - Fixed
      #32 - Fixed
      #34 - Fixed
      #55 - I don't think Canada is relevant to the point I'm trying to make. The point is that Joseph's prophecy failed and that he blew it off saying some revelations come from the devil.
      #84 - I've read several accounts of actions the Church committed that are not permitted for tax exempt organizations. Just because you are not convicted does not me that you haven't violated rules.

    3. Cool.

      #18 Fair enough. I personally agree that Todd Compton's criteria for inclusion was pretty solid - 2 independent sources if I remember correctly. For some reason FAIR makes a big deal in a bunch of their articles about it being 8 not 11 that have sufficient documentation to be irrefutable (like it matters). So the reason for going with 8 would be that FAIR admits to 8 and if someone tries to say it is a lie you have FAIR to back you up whereas with 11 you get into a pissing contest with FAIR readers over the criteria. Realistically 11 is probably low.

      #55 Cool.

      #84 Your call. My thinking is just that there is enough stuff out there that is 100% verifiable that I prefer to avoid anything gray - because Mormons are already taught to disbelieve everything as lies. There is no question that what the church did with prop 8 is immoral and even unethical - it just gets hard to prove when there was no conviction that it was illegal. You probably know a lot more about this than I do - all I've seen is the prop 8 documentary - how they got caught cooking the books and had to go back and revise their numbers and the staggering $ amount donated by LDS members. Also all the internal memos of how they were creating a front organization to attempt to make the LDS church's involvement look like it was less than it really was.

  26. You write some compelling arguments that would cause doubt, perhaps even to the most TBM.

    Nevertheless, I find it hard to buy in to the notion that there is some great deceit at leadership level, or that a response would expose some great lie. I can't help but feel that most of the leaders are like me. Some of the points above give me concern, but at the same time how can I ignore my personal experiences?

    Even accepting that some testimonies or spiritual experiences can be attributed to confirmation bias, there are some that just can't. For me, as I read my patriarchal blessing there are things spoken so personal that the person giving it was inspired. Nothing could persuade me otherwise. And another experience I had last year was so prolific, that again it cannot be explained away by confirmation bias or coincidence.

    So which do I give greater credence to, my own experience, or the often subjective history from 200 years ago.

    1. Mashman108 you make a good point. It is my personal opinion that most of the top LDS leaders believe it completely. However call it "spin", call it half-truths, call it lies, and there is a whole lot of it. The LDS church tightly controls the narrative of what Mormons are exposed to in an LDS setting - especially since correlation in the 80s - where the mandate first came out - tongue in cheek here: "teach the manual, the whole manual, and nothing but the manual". There are many examples where the true history is swept under the wrong. Little things like Joseph Smith was in a bed with 2 other brothers and in a room of a total of 6 boys when he claimed to be visited by angel Moroni. Whether you choose to call it lying, there is a whole lot of sanitizing.

      One fairly recent example was Holland's interview in the Mormon Candidate. He point blank lies that Romney would have done death oath's in the temple. However the interviewer was more informed than he expected and he finally capitulates and admits that Romney would have done those prior to 1990.

      The evidence is overwhelming if you dare to look at it objectively. Personal experience is disproven by counter-example: people in other religions have had experiences just as inexplicable as yours.

      I personally have had spiritual experience that would blow your mind that kept be believing for a long time. But then I have also had just as mind blowing spiritual experiences that turned out to be proven false. My patriarchal blessing was 100% wrong on several things - people use your same logic to testify that psychics are real.

  27. Mashman108,

    I think we can agree that there are things that leaders of the church have been dishonest about. That spectrum of dishonest ranges from sins of omission to intentional deception. I'm not asking the leaders of the church to come out and admit that the church is a lie. I simply want them to provide official responses to these issues instead of 1) Pretending that they don't exist and 2) Hiding behind (but not endorsing) FAIR. And I want them to start being open and honest about the history.

    As Gordon B. Hinckley stated, "Well, we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues."

    Do you think that church is being open and honest? I don't. I don't care if people believe or disbelieve, stay or go. But I think that everyone DESERVES to know the history of the organization they are born into or convert to. Any organization that requires as much from people as the LDS church has the duty to be honest.

    Interpret however you please, but let factual information be presented. We should not tolerate anything less than honesty and transparency.

  28. I would like to bring some honest experience to the table.

  29. # 80 Some Mormon leaders in government or political position still present a threat to a person of colour

    Bishop Reese at my former Holladay 4th Ward wrote a letter expressing that his fellow brethren had "mishandled" my immigration documents that caused the loss of my immigration status. During one immigration hearing, I explained to Judge Nixon, who is a Mormon associated with racist tendencies by Huffington Post and City Weekly, that I was not responsible for the loss of status and asked him if I could advance and show him the document I had in hand. He said, "it does not matter how you lost immigration status. It matters that it is lost and you are removable......"

    You see, in Judge Nixon's defense, Mormons believe that Blacks were born with a curse from which no mortal, not even Judge Nixon could absolve Blacks from this moral burden of the curse they inherited in their premortal existence.
    Long story has been a difficult journey fighting for my skin in Utah but I will continue to stand for the person whom Mormons say I am : A Child of God.

  30. "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    Some have questioned why anyone would waste their time being critical of the church. Here are some of my reasons:

    I believe in trying to make decisions in life based on the best information available. As someone born into the church and active for nearly 30 years, a lot of relevant information was not accessible to me. I was even warned that reading scholarship about the church would spiritually destroy me.

    There is no virtue in shaping belief out of ignorance. Truth has nothing to hide.

    Most of the important people in my life cannot comprehend the fact that I don't believe anymore. Perhaps if the church would embrace transparency rather than fear it, my family might understand my doubts better. Maybe they would not see me as a disappointment. Maybe they would not consider me a quitter and a trial of their faith.

    Maybe they would not weep and mourn the loss of my faith, because they might understand that the church's claims to truth are no more impressive or convincing than those of any other religion.

    The church is family-friendly until someone stops believing. When that happens, the church is actually well equipped to make life pretty miserable (for both the apostate and the believers in the family).

    And, more high-minded words...

  31. I posted three sets of the 95 Theses at three different LDS Chapels in Utah this a.m. Here are the photos to prove it. No one was there when I taped them to the doors.

  32. The electro-shock therapy thing wasn't confined to the 70s. I had a roommate who was put through that torture in the early 90s (I only wish I had known at the time!).


    Here is my 2-cents.


    my response. Ill try and submit this a second timr.

    1. David,

      If your responses make sense to some people enough to alleviate concerns and keep them happy in the church, more power to them.

      Personally, I think your responses are just as misleading as you probably think my theses are. Most of your answers do not address the issue being raised but simply rely on lame excuses and diversion tactics. I wish I had the time and energy to point out the obvious holes in each.

      Be that I don't have the time and energy, I'll leave it to the reader to decide for themselves whether they think your arguments make sense or not.

      Ultimately though, my objective is to get official responses from the church, not from armchair apologists.

    2. David, anyone willing to accept your responses are probably not asking themselves the questions in the first place.

    3. Your rebuttal is weak. I've read better apologetic pieces at FAIR and most of those are terrible and appeal heavily to authority and faith, even at the expense of solid evidence (or in some cases, proof). In fact, it's in part because of the church's apologetic fringe that I and many others like me have seen the church for what it really is.

      Thanks for trying, though!

  35. The Reformation CONTINUES! A group of us decided to make Posting the 95 Theses an ANNUAL Event on the same date Martin Luther did it -- OCT 31st! If you'd like to join our private FB group, see:

    And Follow our Twitter account at:
    We are tweeting 1 of the 95 Theses each day! Help re-tweet them and spread the Truth.

    We also support our UK/European friends who are striving to make the truth about the church's deception known at: AND

  36. Interesting....
    I left the LDS church almost 4 years ago. It was a very hard thing to do, but after much thought and prayer- it was the right thing to do for my self and my family.
    I do not have a problem with the BoM. The Cherokee indians have a DNA marker that is only found in people with Jewish heritage. Plus, a lot of their customs and prophecies are very close to Jewish customs and prophecies. Also, God's word is timeless, is it not? Is God not able to say something to one people and then say the same thing to a different people across the world at a different time? Do we reject the New Testament because it "plagiarizes" the Old Testament? That would be crazy! I have no problem with the BoM being another testament of Christ. It does not contradict the Bible, but upholds it.
    I do not, however, believe that Joseph Smith was ever a polygamist.
    This is not what I was taught in the LDS church(if you are a member, you know that). This is from my own research over a number of years. I believe that Brigham Young was the polygamist(he learned about it on his mission to England where Polygamy was being practiced across Europe in different religions- )
    Look at it. Joseph Smith constantly denied having more than one wife, but there were others in the church who had more than one wife and never denied it. Of all his "wives" only Emma was ever pregnant by him.( and I know the story about Eliza Snow- she is related to me through Lorenzo- She was pregnant, but not by Joseph. She did lose the baby before it was born, but not because Emma was jealous and pushed down the stairs- there were no stairs at the house they were living in at the time.)
    Brigham Young had a lot to gain by the death of Joseph Smith. Although polygamy was preached to a few "select" people shortly before and after J.S's death, it wasn't preached widely until years after his death and Brigham Young happened to come across teachings of J.S and thought that it was time to let the rest of the people in on this new commandment.
    Wilford Woodruff received a very direct revelation on polygamy and how God would allow the church to be destroyed if they didn't stop it- sounds to me like it wasn't a commandment from God( look up the proclamation to the church and the revelation of wilford woodruff).
    There was also a belated apology from the church about the Mountain Meadows massacre. I lived in Arkansas for 5 years and every year there was an article in the newspaper about the massacre (those that were murdered were from Arkansas) including a mention of a formal apology by President Hinkley in the 90's, I believe. And a memorial set up by the church and a reconceliation(sp?) of the two groups.
    I believe a lot of what you all are upset with the church about stems not from J.S, but from B.Y. Look at the stuff he taught. A lot of it is just crap. And yes, I really believe there are a lot of women who lied about J.S and being married to him. Look at the fame it brought them! Any young woman who lived at that time and became pregnant out of wed lock was shamed and kicked out of their community. What if someone came to you and said, you will have fame and be taken care of and a good name, just say you were married to the prophet.
    It is very close to what happened in the salem which hunts. Someone would say something and not wanting to be out done, someone else would claim the same. It still happens today. I have a personal friend whose entire ward turned against her and many of these "outstanding " women lied about her because they fancy her husband and would love to be his "second wife"
    Polygamy is the root problem of the church and until they own up to it and admit that it is wrong, they will never be right.

    1. The proof that Joseph Smith had multiple wives is 100% undeniable. Starting with D&C 132. is a good place to start to get educated on the subject.

  37. This is great stuff! You should also check out to see the similarities between Mormons, JW's, and Scientologists.....INCREDIBLE!

  38. I have read both D&C 132 and also many websites including the one you provided a link to.
    Try out this one and see what you think:
    I believe that D&C 132 is false. Here is from Wikipedia :
    "In 1876, a new LDS Church edition renumbered most of the sections in a roughly chronological order instead of the earlier topical order, and included 26 revelations not included in previous editions, now numbered as Sections 2, 13, 77, 85, 87, 108–111, 113–118, 120–123, 125, 126, 129–132, and 136. Previous editions had been divided into verses, however, the early versifications generally followed the paragraph structure of the original text. It was with the 1876 edition that the currently used versification was first employed." ( )
    The question is then, "Do I really believe all those women lied?" YES!!! I really do!
    Religion has always been misused as a means to gain power and persuasion over people. I believe that Brigham Young and others of the 12 at that time were practicing polygamy and Joseph Smith either knew or suspected it and they were chastised and told to knock it off. J.S. spent a lot of time going from one place to another trying to fix all the problems that were creeping up in the church, but as soon as he left, rumors would start again and all the other crap would start back up again.
    Anyway, for women to have any power or authority at that time, what better way then to be married to a prophet? or say they were married to the prophet and later get "sealed" to him in the temple after he had died? Almost all the "wives" of J.S. ended up marrying Brigham Young later- doesn't that seem strange to you at all?
    I am not trying to convince you of the truthfulness of the LDS church- I think there are many things wrong with them and stuff they teach- I am no longer a member(never asked for removal of my name though- just didn't bother) But I believe that the polygamy started with Brigham Young and the church has been under condemnation ever since.
    I enjoyed reading your article and thank you for responding to my previous post. I would enjoy discussing this further with you if you don't mind!

  39. I think alot of anger including my owm is that I was a true believer. Went on a great mission, married in Temple, etc. But when my testimony took a dive due to life just happening, I found myself with a void. I was raised this is the only true church. Believed it. But when your faith is ruined, all attached is too. If this one isnt then none are. So many, myself included, learned that the God we were raised to believe in, isnt exactly who He is. We kid ourselves stating we know the nature of God. This is why so many become agnostic of atheist. Our views of God are tied to our Mormon based upbringing. When that collapses, so does our God. You can pounce and attack that with pious indignation, but that hole is real and it hurts.

  40. Hello Martin Luther-day Saint,

    I'm a french former mormon... i like your website and also the mormonthink one, well-documented works, honnest and no religious claims, free-minded...
    So i made a french version of your "reformation" issue, for me and interested people (i tried to do my best translation, without any hat or seer stone), if you want to check it (tell me if there is no big mistakes, and you can offer improvement, updating...) or to use it you're very welcome. I hope it could be helpful...

    There it is:

    With my truth seeking sympathy,

  41. What a great website! Thanks so much! To find even more spiritual thoughts, check out this link!

  42. Ok I have been reading fair, mormonthink and now this site. I have been a mormon now for 4 years and every time I had prayed about all of this all I got was " there is truth and lies, even deceipt in all religions and yes the lds religion isn't excluded.
    As any type of Christian (beit legit or cult, if one views the lds religion as such) we areto decern what is the truth in each and make those truths as a part of our lives.
    I do agree with the fact that the 95 theses is there to help us more truth seeking mormons to know what the facts are. The bible has falsities (stories until lately we viewed as truths and have found that they are as valid as most of the BoM such as the actual where abouts of the exedus, etc.) but as fare as I have come to understand that there is little or no evidence that the trip of the Hebrew's to the USA despite the fact that the cherokee natives have some dna markers in them. There are so many inconsistancies to make a complete mention here.
    Polygamy or not don't mean a thing now, now does it? But I do agree that all religions should be held accountable for their hidden histories. Why hide these "dark spots" for? I feel that I somewhat don't agree with the teaching and just don't participate in the q&a part of that education. I do applaud the man that put this thesis together as I finally found a group of people that aren't afraid to say what's on their minds just too bad one hides their name. How can we educate and inform if we don't make an actual stand to do such. I am probably gonna get in bad with my church for this but I am not hiding my name as I truly feel this isn't wrong. There are prophets out there and see'rs just too bad that the lds church don't pick them out of the entire congregation like I was first made to believe. I thought cool, I'll never be one but here is a place where a real profit is picked just to find out it is bs. Yeah I receive revelation but believe me it isn't for the complementing or confirming the truth of the church, just the opposite.
    One thing I did get though is that as long as they stop the ongoing deceipt they would be doing Gods will and not gods will.

  43. left the church 25 years ago. one had to almost become a historian to seek out conflicting views of history & follow the evidence. E.g., read richard bushman to see him "shine a t*rd" & put the best possible spin on some things while glossing over others -- compare to fawn brodie's "no man knows my history" -- one can read about thomas stuart ferguson to see what happens to an LDS archeologist who devoted his life to proving the BOM & learned archeology does NOT back up the BOM. DNA evidence does NOT support the BOM. praying about the truth does NOT yield the same result as empirical reality. see revisionist history at work: compare the 1835 to the 1830 book of commandments (the latter covered up by the church), read the conflicting first vision stories! polygamy is true. now it's not. see how the (permanent, eternal) temple endowments change. learn how joseph bedded babes. see how he fabricated the book of abraham, etc. see how mark hoffman fooled the LDS powers-that-be. defend it all if you like - faith makes you happy (except when you fall slightly short & feel guilty), doubt makes you wise. cheers!