Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The New Anti-Mormon Campaign

  I am going to depart a bit from my light-hearted commentary on Movies, TV, and Music to speak on something that had been weighing on my mind for some time.  I know some of my readers are of other faiths and you can feel free to skip to something like Family Friendly Netflix Movies or How to Get into The Movies for Free.  But if you stick around i think you will find principles that apply universally. 

   I served my mission in the Bible Belt and anti-Mormon sentiment was every where.  Part of my mission was in Missouri, where there was a law demanding the Extermination of Mormons up until 1976.  I was constantly berated about the false teachings of my church, that I was going to Hell, that everything I believed was a lie.  There was literature and pamphlets devoted to it that were often given to our those who were interested in our message by their family, friends, pastors. I encountered many people who were drawn away from the faith because of these methods.

The Korihor Doctrine

   With the emergence of the "Mormon Moment" these tactics are less effective.  Everyone knows that Mitt Romney doesn't have horns, that Steve Young isn't going to abscond with your daughters, and that Stephen Coveys' day planners aren't trying to brain wash you.  As a result there has begun an emergence of a new type of Anti-Mormon campaign.  I choose to call it the Korihor Doctrine.

   In the Book of Mormon a recurring theme is that of Anti-Christs.  In it's simplest form, the term means any one or thing that counterfeits or opposes the gospel of Jesus Christs.  But is also refers to persons who pretend to represent the gospel of Christs, but are actually against it.

   The Korihor Doctrine teaches that there is no sin, that the teachings of Church leaders are merely foolish traditions.  As I search the Internet for content for the site I often come across other blogs and websites that seem to teach this doctrine.  I am choosing to not list specific sites as I really do not want to promote these types of sites, but I did want to discuss the contents. But I'm sure many of you have seen the sites.

   One Podcast tells stories about Mormons.  I love faith promoting stories about members of the Church so I listened to an episode about a young man struggling with same gender attraction.  His story is very heartfelt and he speaks about his repentance process.  The episode is about 6 hours long and I admit, I skipped around a bit.  Then when you finally reach the end of the podcast though, the whole story flips and he claims that the Spirit told him to leave the Church and he subsequently removed his name from its records.  

   The message finally portrayed is that those who have same gender attractions should feel perfectly justified in leaving the Church.  I think a story like Josh Weed's gives a much better outline of a way to feel happy in dealing with same gender attraction.  His journey might not be the route for all in that situation, but he talks about how he reconciles his faith to his desires.  Which is a very universal theme for all of us.

   Another blog I read today wrote about how masturbation was not a sin, and that the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet no longer condemns it and notes that the updated version removed the word "masturbation." What the writer fails to include is the section that states, "Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body."  

   One very popular writer claims the moniker of Mormon in all her books and blogs, but then goes on to teach against everything the brethren tell us.  She then claims to be a victim and will be targeted because she is a feminist and an intellectual.  I know of no Church doctrine that teaches that it is a sin to support women's rights or gain a higher education.  Utah was one of the first states that allowed women to vote and in recent years there have been many General Conference talks advising members of the Church to increase our learning by attending University.  But if you continually speak evil of those who have been selected by the Lord to lead His Church, your membership might be questioned.

   There seems to be a pattern all these sites follow; a tragic story of a member of the church (usually of how they are struggling with sin), a quote or Church teaching that is taken out of context, then how their rationalization removes the feeling of guilt associated with the sin they were struggling with.

Which is why I call it the Korihor Doctrine.  If there is no sin, then there is no guilt. But we learn from the Second Book of Nephi, "And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away."     

How We Protect Our Faith

   One thing I have learned from being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that living the commandments makes me happy.  If your Sunday School is on track, then 2 weeks ago you learned about Alma teaching the Zoramites about faith.  It is one of my favorite chapters because it talks about how we gain a testimony.  More importantly though, it talks about how we keep it.

   Even our youngest Primary children learn that once our seed of faith begins to grow we need to care for it.  A Tree needs water, warmth, light, air, rich soil, and even occasional pruning.  Likewise our testimonies need the prayer, church, service, scriptures, love, and even trials.  When a tree of faith withers it is not because the seed was bad, it is because fail to give it what it needs, or perhaps give it things it doesn't.

   I will be the first one to admit that I don't know or understand everything about the Gospel or Church History.  But what I do know is that when Jesus Christ was on the Earth He established His Church.  That Church was lost from the Earth.  It was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and a Prophet has been called to lead the Church until today when it is led by Thomas S Monson.  I trust that he receives revelation from God on how to lead His Church and how we can live a life centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Most importantly I know that as I have lived these teachings and tried my best to keep the commandments and repent when I fall short I am happy.  

I guess I could identify with Elder Price a bit.

"I am a Mormon, and a Mormon just believes."


  1. I usually don't post or comment on blogs, but something in your post struck me. I have no doubt that you find happiness in your faith. Your faith in the church gives you a clear path to follow for your life and a community to support you. But you state this as if it is a reason to believe. Aren't there faithful, happy, honest, sincere Methodists or Presbyterians? Yet you think their happiness is founded on a false foundation.
    No thoughtful Mormon I know does not have nagging doubts about church teachings that they have had to put on a shelf. Whether it is the Book of Abraham, early church polyandry, Kinderhook Plates, BoM historicity issues, or less than flattering facts about J.S., most everyone has some things that bother them about the faith.
    Don't you owe it to yourself to face those questions? I know that for me, the mismatch between Church teachings (from the BoM, Bible, PoGP, D&C) and everything we as humans are able to understand about our world was too much to bury. I found that I couldn't bury my doubts that that there was an actual tower of Babel, that the earth really was flooded during the time of Noah, or that the BoM was historical.
    I can tell you, that although it wasn't easy, I was honest with my doubts and faced them rather than burying them. Once I allowed myself to question, the choice was clear. Now I'm as happy as I have ever been. So what I would say to you is, believe, but do it honestly. You owe it to yourself to know.

    1. Thanks for making an exceptions here and leaving your feelings.

      The happiness I feel when I live my faith is part of the fruit that is borne from my "seed of faith." It is part of what motivates me. When I have Home Teaching families that are difficult, that happiness I feel when I do get to visit with them and have spiritual experiences is helps me to try again next month. (Among other things, like my gratitude and love for my Savior, love of those I serve, and a sense of duty I accepted when I was ordained to the Priesthood.)

      But I would not say that is roots of my seed of faith. When I was a missionary I was placed with a lot of anti Mormon literature. I Bishopric member was being presented with it and wanted us to look at it as well. It was very difficult to make determinations to the authenticity of these tracts because histories were often vague, from questionable sources, and a very long time ago. For every claim made I usually found several explanations on both sides of the argument.

      It can be very jarring to a testimony. The Bishopric member ended up leaving the Church. It was a sad thing, as he was a widower with a loving wife waiting for him on the other side. So I took a step back and pondered what should I do. I thought about Joseph Smith and what he did when he needed to find truth. I remembered when I was in Seminary and we were challenged to read Moroni 10:4-5 and follow it. I remember praying on my knees by my bed at 14 years old. I remember the Spirit I felt, the warmth in my heart, and the whisper to my mind that the Book of Mormon was true.

      The Book of Mormon is often called the keystone of stone of our religion. Because I knew the Book of Mormon was true, I knew the Joseph Smith was a prophet, that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored.

      Are there things that I don't understand or seem odd about our history? You bet! But I have faith that the Lord answered my prayer that night and I trust that the things that I don't understand will be revealed.

  2. " I know of no Church doctrine that teaches that it is a sin to support women's rights or gain a higher education. "

    Are you not familiar with Boyd Packer's 1993 talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council in which he described three threats to the church: the gay rights movement, feminism, and "so-called intellectuals"?

    That same year the "September Six" (6 feminists and intellectuals) were excommunicated.

    1. I am a little familiar with it. The Church does not usually release the details of excommunications. (Some may see that as the Church protecting the privacy of the individual other may see it as protecting them selves.)

      But my understanding is that they (or some) had been publishing materials that were in opposition to the Church. The sin isn't in being a feminist or intellectual, but in doing and saying things that are not in harmony with the Gospel of Christ of His Church. Similar to having same gender attractions and those who act on them.

      The danger that such movements can contain is when members have a crisis. When a woman has an abusive husband and a Bishop is less sympathetic as he should be, or a boy who having gay feelings is disowned by his family, or someone has concerns about polygamy in the early church. There are those who will say, the Church's chauvinistic male hierarchy doesn't love you, or no one should judge you, come to our pride parade, or did you know Joseph had a magic hat too?

      Regrettably people don't always react the best when it comes members in crisis, but for the most part I think they do. But when personal that failing does happen, we need people who will help support them through the crisis heal their testimony, not tear it down.

  3. "Another blog I read today wrote about how masturbation was not a sin, and that the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet no longer condemns it and notes that the updated version removed the word "masturbation." What the writer fails to include is the section that states, "Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body." "

    The therapist that wrote that blog entry also provided scientific evidence that masturbation does not arouse sexual emotions/feelings.

    1. Hahaha, masturbation doesn't arouse sexual feelings? I thought that was part of the word's very definition!

    2. I'll echo comments I made on another post;

      "So what does one think about during "release" sessions? Seminary Scripture Mastery, your upcoming Relief Society lesson, hum primary songs like, "If the Savior Stood Beside Me."

      I will admit there are many who take spinets of principles and create doctrine; Caffeine, R-Rated Movies, side burns, etc.

      But equally as damaging are those who take the philosophies of men mingled with scripture to rationalize error."

      Doctors at one point in time said smoking was healthy, giving babies morphine would help them sleep, and lobotomies can cure depression.

      You just got to choose which basket you want to put your eggs in. And it sounds like be both have.

  4. What a great showing of empathy. #sarcasm

  5. How is voicing a difference of opinion qualified as unemphatic?

    1. Yeah, but that is how the game is played. If you don't agree with me, you must hate me.

  6. I am curious how everyone found this post this morning. Was it posted somewhere else?

    1. Posted in a few places.

      Here is another blog that I just read today where the women had a spiritual revelation in the temple to live polygamy. http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/08/gp-the-everlasting-covenant/

      Most faithful members in the Church would tell her that her spiritual experience was not from God or she made it up herself. Many others like yourself will not believe the story you watched about the man that was struggling with gay issues and the spirit told him to leave the church.

      You don't place value on other peoples experiences unless they match up with what you think the gospel is and how God would communicate with them. It is much like the pastors back in Joseph Smiths day that did not believe his spiritual experiences.

      I really don't care if people leave or stay in the Church. If the church works for you and makes you happy that is great. You talked about how you were sad about the bishopric member that left the church because of his loving wife on the other side. I am assuming that you believe they will not be together now because of a choice that he made. Most active Mormons believe that those who leave the church become bitter and angry and their life is not happy anymore. That may be the case with some but many find greater spiritual truths and a happier life while making the world a better place.

      You also talked about your mission experience and all the anti-mormons and how they treated you. Have you never meet somebody that tried with love to show you that what you believe might not be true? Even though I do not believe in their version of the Gospel, I am amazed at some people that believe and try to save people because they honestly think most people are going to hell. As an LDS missionary I told people they "were going to hell" and that "what they believed was a lie". Of course not in those exact words but told them they would be separated from God if they did not perform ordinances by those with the proper authority. I also told them the story of Joseph Smith that God said all the other churches were an abomination. Basically I was telling them their current beliefs were a lie and here I am to give them the real truth.

      People leave and join churches all the time and each story results in some people being happy they are joining and others being sad they left "the truth".

      Hope your Mormonism experience is good for you and does make you a happier person and thanks for posting the I Believe video. Love it.

    2. Thanks for your constructive response. I respect your views and like you commented, I am much less adverse to people telling me my religion is not true if they are nice and genuinely concerned. But some of my experiences were people being verbally abusive. Luckily not much physical.

      I like your point about the person receiving revelation about being in a polygamous relationship. Like many, my knee jerk reaction is that she is probably wrong (maybe crazy). But my real gripe was that the tempo of the conversation was like an angler fish. It seems like it is offering light, and then snap!

  7. Sorry...but to say that Josh Weed's experience is "a better outline," is like saying that winning the lottery is a better outline for solving poverty. Unfortunately, Weed's experience (finding a Mormon girl TOTALLY OKAY with marrying a homosexual?!) is so so so not even close to the norm, that I find his blog post to be incredibly deceiving and dangerous (while also simultaneously cool that he is happy, and that he won the gay Mormon jackpot) in that it feeds the very dangerous "I'm gay, but I'll just get married anyway, and the church will keep me from destroying my family in 20 years when I can't repress myself anymore so I start having secret gay liaisons" scenario. And let's be real; the soul withering guilt placed upon teenage boys for masturbating is so psychologically unhealthy.

    1. If you keep reading I went on to say, "His journey might not be the route for all in that situation, but he talks about how he reconciles his faith to his desires. Which is a very universal theme for all of us." I do feel it might not be the route for all. I had a friend who chose the celibate route. I like Josh's story because it was a thought out choice he shared with his spouse before they were married. It would not be fair to the wife to just tell someone to just get married and it will simply fix itself.

      But just because someone is gay doesn't mean they have the market cornered on temptation. I am in a heterosexual marriage. I still face temptations of infidelity. I am also tempted to lie, to drink, to not eat meat sparingly. But I try my best to stay close to the Savior so those temptations are only a fleeting thing.

      I guess it comes down to if you believe the Church is being led by a true prophet or not. If you don't we will go back and forth on what God's stance is on this and never really land on common ground on issues of moral turpitude.

      I am so surprised when it comes to the notion of guilt being a negative thing. Guilt is part of what motivates us to make changes. It was when Alma was harrowed up with the guilt of his sins that be cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him. Maybe it is a Utah thing. I am in Southern California and have always had kind loving Bishops. When I have made mistakes in life, my Bishop was always they to help lift me up. He never tried to shame me or make me feel unloved. That is what the atonement is about. The same has been true for people I know who have been through similar situations, or even ones that were more serious.

  8. Mormon Media Reviews, whatever your name is, thanks for this post. It is so true and as you see in the responses they are far more devious than your average hater. Don't worry though as there are plenty of Mormons who still take righteousness and faith seriously, unlike those who posted here. Be careful with them because for every inch of their toxic rhetoric will allow them to get closer to taking your spiritual scalp. Unrepentant homosexuals, feminists, unbelievers and other like supporters don't belong. We need to make that absolutely clear.

    1. I have never been a huge fan of labels, but I wouldn't say the unrepentant don't belong. I would just say they need to repent.

  9. Bravo, MMR. The very fact that so many self-identified Mormons think that your post is worthy of controversy or debate shows how far they want to stretch the boundaries of faith and devotion to accommodate doubt, stiffneckedness and worldly wisdom to their definition of being a Saint. Some will not be happy until they widen the straight and narrow path until it is so broad that it doesn't lead anywhere in particular.

  10. Thank you for your courage in posting this. So many people are afraid to shine the light on these tactics because of the harsh reaction from those who would like the truth of their position to remain hidden.


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