Friday, April 3, 2015

Round Up of Recent Mormon Coffee Articles

Mormon Coffee is my favorite blog about Mormonism because they often uncover some unique and very interesting information, and always have good commentaries.  (If Utah Lighthouse Ministry had a blog, I’m sure it would be just as good!) Here are links to their best stories (IMO) over the past several weeks.

Mormonism and Its First Level Truths.  A central paragraph:  “And so, when a Mormon learns that Joseph Smith engaged in plural marriage practices that are clearly forbidden in the Bible (e.g., marrying mother/daughter and sister pairs); when they learn that his revelations failed (e.g., selling the Book of Mormon copyright); when they learn that the relating of his history — regarding his First Vision, his translation of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the priesthood, his translation of the Book of Abraham (“and on and on and on”) — are fraught with problems; when they learn that he borrowed heavily from Freemasonry for the temple endowment; when they learn that his understanding of the very nature of God changed and progressed over his lifetime; they rightfully wonder: Why should I believe the Mormon Church is true? Why should I believe my Church leaders are really hearing from God? Why should I believe anything promoted by my church since it all stems from what I now see as one polluted source?

The Continuing Call to Follow the Prophet.   An analysis of Ezra Taft Benson’s 1980 speech, “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet,” and how the teachings in this speech have been handled since.

Joseph Smith’s Grandiloquent Assertion.  A good examination of Smith’s boast about keeping the “whole church together,” and demonstrating the many spit-offs that refute his boast.

Mormon Church does not require “bloodletting.”   Discussion about Utah bringing back the firing squad, and the connection it has with the Mormon doctrine of “Blood Atonement.”

The Virtue of Joseph Smith.  As if he had any virtue.  The article opens with:  Speaking at the general conference last October, Mormon Apostle Neil L. Andersen gave a talk simply titled “Joseph Smith.”  Toward the end of his message, Andersen said, “I give you my witness that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. He chose a holy man, a righteous man, to lead the Restoration of the fulness of His gospel. He chose Joseph Smith.” This phrase became the byline when his talk was reprinted in the conference edition of Ensign magazine (November 2014, pp. 28-31).  Of course anyone who knows anything about Smith certainly knows what an unholy man he was.  The article goes on to examine Mr. Anderson’s attacks on the character of ex-Mormons who dare to “malign” Smith, and he whining about information on the Internet.  Mormon Coffee had a good summation:  “The timing of Andersen’s talk is especially interesting. A few weeks after his message, the church released a Gospel Topics essay admitting how Smith had married as many as forty women, including ten with living husbands as well as another ten teenagers, one as young as fourteen. There is proof that Smith lied many times to his wife Emma about his polygamous affairs. This might be a good place to start if Smith’s credentials as a virtuous and holy man are to be honestly examined.”

Saving Mormonism: Divorcing Faith from Fact.  The LDS, as usual, wishes to concentrate more on the “faith” of their religion rather than the “facts” of the history of it.  “Dr. Flake wants to divorce faith from fact, and I think doubting Mormons will find comfort in following her lead. But faith divorced from fact is not really faith at all.”  I certainly have to agree, and the article continues in this vein exposing problems with the LDS ideology of shielding its people from unpleasant factual information.  The summary paragraph is right on the money:  “Conversely, if the facts of the real world do not fit Mormonism, Mormonism is shown to be untrue. And for those who cling to this hope against hope by continuing to place their faith in a false religious system — for those who will not act on what they’ve learned — devastatingly, their faith is in vain.”

This last item isn’t from Mormon Coffee, rather it is from Lutheran Satire.  But it is a good piece of humor in regards to problems in the LDS teachings!  Well worth the view.

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