Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

234 Excellent


About TOmNossor

  • Rank
    Seasoned Member: Separates Light & Dark

Recent Profile Visitors

1,759 profile views
  1. I have read most of this thread. The first thing I want to say is that I suspect that the dichotomy offered by Stemelbow (as he channeled an 80’s rap star) should be met with an internal “yes” and a rejection of the invitation to disagree. To the extent one was saddened by changes in 2012 and heartened by Elder Holland, yes! Now get back to work. To the extent one felt 2012 was blown out of proportion and Elder Holland was saying “do better, pray more, keep going!!!,” yes! Now get back to work. On to another topic… I have two questions for folks that might think like the stereotype of Dr. Bradford (I don’t know him at all) AND for those who might think like the real Dr. Peterson (I know him a tiny bit and I suspect folks here know him well). 1. Is there not room for calling a critic a critic in the world of perfect, Elder Holland inspired, gospel work.? I have never seen a critic say, “Now I will misrepresent the faith of the CoJCoLDS.” Or “Now I will misrepresent my former faith.” I often see critics of the CoJCoLDS who refuse to say, “Now I will explain why you shouldn’t continue being or shouldn’t become a LDS.” Instead, one must search through past comments to find that “Bishop interviews of youth” was once number 6 or 7 on the list of why one should not sustain the leaders of the CoJCoLDS and only today is the broomstick upon which one “innocently” rides while claiming to be trying to make the church they love better. It seems to me that many who in their heart of hearts desire to weaken or destroy faith in the CoJCoLDS spend a great deal of time largely misrepresenting themselves to try to get past some “I will ignore anti-Mormons filter” that they believe exists (rightly so in some individuals) throughout the church. When believing members offer apologetics, I do not think there is often such deception (of course I am probably biased here). 2. What is the proper context for the statement, “If the origins of the Book of Abraham was the only piece of data I evaluated, I would reject the CoJCoLDS?” I have never thought the “two papyri theory is great.” I think the catalyst theory is largely an adhoc creation to explain something that is not explained by data (of course it cannot be disproven, but that is hardly a source of great positive evidence). I say similar things to this on the Catholic board I contribute to when I think it is appropriate. It seems clear to me that the CoJCoLDS does not win all the skirmishes in the battle concerning what is mostly likely true based on data and reason only. On VERY rare occasions, I have seen some Catholic apologists claim that the Catholic understanding of this or that point is not the most clear read of the Bible, but such is rare. To me credibility is enhanced if you can call losing points a losing point. I do not share with my ministering companion the least well answered questions in LDS apologetics (the origins of the BOA, IMO) so when should this be done? I believe “10000 problems do not a doubt make.” I suspect I could say this based on spiritual testimony, but I can also say it based on the fact that I simply cannot explain the origins of the Book of Mormon without appealing to God and this more than adequately supports difficulties with the origins of the BOA, IMO. Charity, TOm
  2. I do not know Bill Reel IRL. I could be wrong. I have a vague memory of him starting by trying to explain difficult issues in way that preserves faith. I then have a vague memory of him seeming almost upset that many folks didn't believe the difficult issues were as difficult as he thought they were. I didn't intend to claim that Bill dropped bombs in his ward. I was suggesting that his podcast and postings became about presenting the bombs. And I would also suggest that his podcast and postings ceased to be about presenting the bombs in a way that encouraged faithful members to continue to be faithful members. This suggest to me that for Bill caring for others does not involve caring if they have a faith crisis and/or cease to be members. It is a free country and I am very happy that we have freedom of speech. I am also happy that we have freedom of association. I guess I would say that the "act of excommunication" AND the "label of 'apostate'" are not IMO medieval tools. The label "apostate" means one who no longer believes what the community believes and excommunication is the exercise of "freedom of association." I do not believe that LDS have a well defined set of beliefs, but it seems to me that one of the basics is that somehow life as a LDS is beneficial to many/most/all in this life and probably in the life to come. Bill Reel does not IMO believe this. I am not sure if Bill's ecclesiastic leaders offered him the chance to disassociated himself, but I do believe he used his membership (his former callings even) to lend credence to his positions and OPINIONS. He CERTAINLY used his excommunication. The association has a right to remove its association from those who use that association for purposes antithetical to the purpose (purported purpose if you will) of the organization. If I joined Former Mormon for Christ and offered an exit narrative that was really not an exit narrative at all and then continued to explain why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's Church on earth, I doubt I would be long for that organization. I suspect that some of the problems folks have with the CoJCoLDS calling itself God's Church is that they really think that God has no preferred belief structure on earth or elsewhere. As such when a Church, that claims to be God's Church, communicates that there is a preferred belief structure and a member cannot openly rejecting it (and inviting others to do so) and remain a member, this is wrong. Well, if there is zero importance to which communion we humans associate, then the CoJCoLDS has at least this as an error. Why is it surprising that this error (or truth) has consequences. Anyway, I do hope doubting members continue to fellowship with the Saints. I would gladly have a soda with Bill Reel and his family and he can sit next to me during sacrament meeting too. But, I do not think he should say the things he says and use his membership as something to give credence to his words. You can come by for a soda and or sit next to my family at sacrament meeting too. Charity, TOm
  3. I did not write my response to Hope_For_Things before I read this, but this is what I had in mind with my P.S. The picture of St. Thomas doubting and yet fellowshipping with the saints is from Patrick Mason (not me). I personally welcome those who, are “non-literal” believers for at least two reasons. I believe the church is a good place to serve God even if you mostly consider your service to be to the human family. These acts of service are positive for humans in this life regardless of what afterlife may exist. I believe the church is a good place to have one’s faith re-kindled. I think this is a positive, but it doesn’t need to be some all-consuming thing. As LDS we do not believe there is some point of no return and for all I know the “non-literal” believer is closer to God than I am. That being said, if there is some value in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, then having folks regularly encourage others to have some type of “faith crisis” is probably not a good thing. I am sure my faith on the other side of a mercifully short period of doubt is MORE than my faith before. I lean toward the view that such is a natural and positive step, but not something that one should be thrust into. We do not seek physical and emotional trials (and we certainly do not try to inflict these trails upon those we love) even though we frequently believe they were (usually past tense) good for us. I think spiritual trials are much the same. Charity, TOm
  4. I have no reason to believe that this statement is not true and thus I will assume it is. I, however, conclude that if this statement is true, Bill Reel rejects the foundational (essential) claims of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is an apostate. His desire to preserve his membership is not for the right reasons AND because of his other actions in addition to being an apostate, he should not be a member. In my experience with Bill Reel, he is an intelligent fellow who knows a good deal about the more difficult aspects of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That being said, he doesn’t know more about these things than I do IMO and he certainly doesn’t know more about these things than do dozens of folks on this board and hundreds of folks throughout the church all who are faithful committed members. I am on this board because I enjoy thinking about, reading about, dialoguing about these “more difficult aspects.” What I NEVER EVER do, is thrust these things upon others. I would never walk up to some faithful member of my ward and say, “You know the Book of Abraham ...” To those who have encountered this or that issue, I do not present the 5 ugliest facts and then throw up my hands and say “Well ain’t that nice.” Instead, I present the 5 ugliest facts and then my own thoughts on how to align those with a vision of the truth of the church. Why do I behave differently than Bill Reel? It is not because the church pays me. It is not because I am not “sincere with respect to caring for people.” It is because I believe that in general it is better for folks, myself included, to stay in the church and believe than to wander away spiritually or physically. I believe the path Bill Reel walks with his head full of knowledge is less likely to lead him to God than the path walked by many members who have avoided “anti-Mormonism.” I believe that all the anti-Mormon arguments properly understood do not substantially alter the basic truths of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I do not believe Bill Reel’s knowledge is essential to salvation. I do believe that part of caring for people is caring if they will be happy in this life and eternally blessed in the life to come. And I believe there is an eternal life and that being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is in general the best (and certainly a very good) way to get through this life and to eternal life. It is my position that Bill Reel may care for people, but he does not believe that being a member of the CoJCoLDS is a large positive for the well being of people. As such he is an apostate. Charity, Tom P.S. The question of whether the church should excommunicate apostates is another matter, but I lean heavily toward the idea that if a non-believing member knowingly acts in ways that are likely to drive people from the church they should be encouraged to cease and if they will not, it is appropriate for them to not continue to invite disbelieve in others as members (ie apostates who destroy others faith regularly should be excommunicated). Thomas the apostle doubted, but he continued to fellowship with the saints (and there is no evidence he tried to convince others to doubt). On a glorious day, his doubt was replaced with faith. I encourage those who doubt to fellowship with the saints, but not to act in ways that are likely to tear down faith in those around them (misery loves company, but this is not “caring for people.”
  5. Hello! I am aware that Catholics do not believe all saints (or even all Doctors of the Church) always spoke/wrote with perfect orthodoxy. This thread was started discussing deification. When I was a Catholic, I never heard words like St. Justin or St. Irenaeus concerning deification. When I began sharing their words, they were so foreign to Catholic ears they were declared heretical. When I read CCC460 to a LDS friend in my Catholic mother’s (Catholic High School and Catholic College) house, my mother exclaimed that we do not believe that. In very rarified scholarly circles before the mid-20th century you could find deification speak (Aquinas is quoted in CCC460), but it was largely absent from the Catholic consciousness. What I claim is that St. Justin and St. Irenaeus attempted to understand the teaching of the early church. Their understanding concerning deification was not something that existed within the Christianity of Joseph Smith’s day. It was something restored. I am familiar with the Baltimore Catechism and CCC460 would be declared heretical by anyone well versed in the Baltimore Catechism. I am less familiar with the Catechism of the Council of Trent (I think that is what it is called), but I think CCC460 would be declared heretical by anyone well versed in it. I claim that LDS scholars write about LDS revelation and embrace the inspiration of LDS leaders as they attempt to come to grips with what is viewed as inspired and what they understand about the world based on all their learnings. This is what St. Justin and St. Irenaeus did. The term “heterodoxy” is not a particularly important classification within the CoJCoLDS, but folks who write like St. Justin today would not be called Catholic Saints. Folks who write like Blake Ostler and Sterling McMurrin are not labeled “orthodox” or “heterodox” when they agree and disagree, but they stand in the tradition of the apostles. There are two possible reasons that LDS can find so much of our thought in the ECFs. Perhaps as Bickmore suggests, the thought is there because it was part of the deposit of faith and Christianity developed away from the truth. To support his conclusion, he suggests that earlier writings conform more to LDS thought than later writings. Alternatively, perhaps orthodoxy was so poorly defined in the early church that there is a little bit of everything and ALL of it was embraced by faithful Christians (until they were declared heretical and excluded from communion). Neither of these views aligns well with what Catholics taught concerning Tradition before Newman’s essay and neither of these views are particularly supportive of the idea that the Early Church was/is in communion (using the idea that orthodoxy is the sign of communion) with the modern Catholic Church. Thus, I suggested that the statement you made concerning the Catholicity of the ECF should by challenged. Charity, TOm
  6. If by this statement you mean that when LDS quote Daniel Keating, Deification and Grace and probably even Thomas Aquinas, it is best to acknowledge that the author being quoted embraces / embraced a view different than the LDS view, I think that is fine. Keating is clear that the final state of deified man is LIMITED by his created (ex nihilo) nature. If by this statement you mean that St. Justin Martyr and even St. Irenaeus were Catholics, then I believe you have gone too far. St. Justin (early 2nd century) surely believed in deification, but he did not believe that man was created ex nihilo. Nowhere does he evidence that the final state of deified man was limited to less than Christ's state. St. Irenaeus for all intents and purposes (IMO) did believe in creation ex nihilo (Gerard May, Creatio ex Nihilo, does not think Irenaeus' view was fully fleshed out), but he did not limit the final state of deified man because of it. Today Catholicism believes many things that St. Irenaeus and St. Justin would be shocked by. Catholicism even believes things St. Augustine would be shocked by. LDS cannot and should not maintain that there is textual evidence for all "unique" LDS beliefs. This doesn't even align with what Joseph Smith taught as the "restoration" anyway. LDS can make scholarly arguments that MANY "unique" LDS beliefs are restorations of original Christianity that modern Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, and even EO) developed AWAY from. I got the following from a friend (I think). Either the Catholic Church was guarded by God as it DEVELOPED truth from the ECF, through 21 Ecumenical Councils (and many non-ECs), or the CoJCoLDS is a divine restoration. The volumes of Catholics trying to assert that the texts left by the ECF align well (very well, almost perfectly) with modern Catholic teaching are one of the many reasons that I agree with Bickmore: https://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/bickmore-doctrinal-trends-in-early-christianity.pdf "Whatever one may think about the various explanations Catholics and Protestants have given for the fact of doctrinal development -- and I certainly haven't given them a full treatment here -- I think it has to be admitted that they were formulated after the fact. That is, Catholic over the centuries loudly proclaimed that they were teaching exactly what the Apostles explicitly taught, or at lease only what could be deduced from it, until a resurgence in historical investigation brought about massive evidence to the contrary." I reject the idea that it is fair to say that St. Justin was a Catholic or St. Ireneaus was a Catholic. I think they stood in the tradition of the Apostles who received divine revelation and wrote divine scripture. I think they are analogous to many LDS today who stand in the tradition of the Apostles (ie those in communion with Russel M. Nelson, both alive and dead). I do not claim inspiration when I try to describe what I believe concerning deification, I merely claim to be aligned with ancient and modern Prophets and Apostles. Charity, TOm
  7. TOmNossor

    Refusing To Do The 10-Day Social Media Fast

    I think everyone is free to make a choice. I also think it likely that 6 months from now at some peculiar meeting where men are typically present, President Nelson will ask the males to fast from social media. I hope that if this happens all the hurt feelings will be instantly healed, but somehow I do not think feelings work that way. Charity, TOm
  8. TOmNossor

    Nature of the Original Language of the Bk of Mormon

    I was going to as Robert F. Smith for information on the evaluation of the BOM as EModE by non-LDS academics. I tend to agree that there are two possibilities. 1. The BOM is clearly EModE. An explanation for this is therefore warranted. 2. The tools used to assess the BOM as EModE are not universally accepted in the linguistic community so the BOM may be EModE and the likelihood of this is somewhat or quite a bit or ... BUT the academic community is unlikely to weigh in on this ESPECIALLY because it is an issue charged with great conflict (note: BYU seems to discourage academic papers demonstrating the likelihood of LDS religious claims being TRUE, in our increasingly politically correct world I suspect that making assertions like this would be problematic. This means that a non-LDS linguist could say "using these methods the BOM is clearly EModE and Dr. Carmack's work is solid" or "using these methods the BOM is possibly or unlikely or ... EModE). Anyway, I do not quite agree with you that there is no reason why an academic would not weigh in upon this work because it does nothing to prove or disprove the BOM, but I think it is more likely to receive a reading than the work of Sorenson. Charity, TOm
  9. TOmNossor

    Sam Young is Excommunicated

    Gray, I do not agree with your take on Sam Young. I do not believe it is impossible that you believe Sam Young is the fellow you claim him to be (and he claims to be). It seems to me that Sam Young is quite willing to burn down the church to get his way. That his way is no partial way as the church already moved his direction. That his cause was once 6th on his list of reasons to proclaim his opposition, but is now all he talks about. And much more. Concerning what you claim the link I offered said: The title of the link is literally, “Invitation to Vote Opposed – Together.” While one of his invitations is as you quote, another is, “Add your name to the Common Consent Register – A Record of those who Disapprove. Click here for the link.” Then he spends many pages documenting why he does not sustain the church leaders. His prose is in support of his title and his invitation to sign his Disapprove petition. Again, his heart could be pure, I have no ability to see it. But I can gauge the cumulative impact of his words and actions. I think if he found out that person x (any person in the whole world) would agree with him and sign his petition and oppose the CoJCoLDS if he offered argument y he would offer argument y (I would like to believe that he would offer argument y ONLY if he believed it to be true, and I do believe this, but he would offer argument y because he is interested in everyone voting disapprove he can get to vote disapprove, IMO). Charity, TOm
  10. TOmNossor

    Sam Young is Excommunicated

    Duplicate post....
  11. TOmNossor

    Sam Young is Excommunicated

    Gray, Here is where Sam Young lists his 11 reasons in 2016 for not sustaining the leadership if the CoJCoLDS & indiscriminately encourages others to also not sustain. https://invisiblescubit.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/invitation-to-vote-opposed-together/ His vote is specifically, opposed to the statement, “Do you sustain … as Prophet, Seer, and Revelator.” Not only did he vote opposed for 11 reasons (#6 being his current reason for being famous), and he encouraged others to also reject the statement. I can see how such a vote might not be apostasy from the concept/truth that “Jesus Christ died for my sins,” but it sure seems to be apostasy from the concept/truth that “Pres. Monson (or Pres. Nelson) is a prophet of God.” Do you disagree with this? Here is the link. I got nothing more for you CFR so hopefully you will be fully satisfied. Charity, TOm
  12. TOmNossor

    Sam Young is Excommunicated

    I think most of these changes happened perhaps partially because of Sam Young, but Sam judged them be not enough change. This is another reason, I think Sam is consciously or unconsciously caught up in his movement. I wonder if he is rejoicing because of all those who have left the church in large part because of him? I wonder if he will claim he is rejoicing or claim it is unfortunate. I do not know the heart of the man, only the public spectacle. Charity, TOm
  13. TOmNossor

    Sam Young is Excommunicated

    I believe it was the right decision to excommunicate Sam Young, but I will not rejoice. He has been in open rebellion against the church for over a year. Long ago he encouraged all members to refuse to sustain LDS leaders at general conference for about 9 reasons. Many were associated with his view of homosexual marriage and his opposition to the church. #6 on his list was Bishop interviews. It seems to me that he found his views on Bishop interviews to be more capable of propelling him to relavance and now this is all we hear about. This suggests to me that he was opposed to the church years ago because he does not believe that leaders are inspired enough that their positions on moral issues should be capable of changing our personal positions on moral issues. This is not IMO what believing in a prophet of God is. I previously was uncomfortable with the church's position on some of the gay marriage issues. I was honest with some around me about how complex I thought the issue was, but i claimed i would defer to the church ultimately. This is not what Sam Young does. I do hold moral and Christian truths that have never been in conflict with the leadership of the CoJCoLDS, but if they ever were would result in much prayer and fasting and .... Blind sheep-is us not a LDS value. Elder Oaks once disagreed with the Prophet. He wrote a legal argument before or after the Prophet defined his position. Legally Elder Oaks still considers his arguement valid, but as I understand 20 years removed he thinks the Prophets position was right and the legal argument was unnecessary at best and harmful at worst. (I hope if anyone is interested someone else can elaborate on this; this is just my best recollection). I hope something returns Sam Young to the Church. I would guess such will not happen soon while the attention and fame and ... burn bright. I am thankful most days that I have never had the chance to be GREAT like Sam Young. I am not at all convinced I would choose God over my greatness. My opinion of Sam is a product of my observation of this issue and I know I cannot judge his heart. I also know I could be much worse if in the same situation. Of course I fully expect to never be a Bishop for many reasons, one being that the love and respect a sober fellow such as me feels for my Bishops would probably be corruptible to my soul. I wish Sam the best. Charity, TOm
  14. Hello, As one who has no more exposure to this issue than the documents in question and some of the post on this thread, put me down as undecided. I do have faith that President Nelson is God’s prophet on earth, but that does not mean I find it impossible that he or someone who is a leader in God’s church made mistakes and perhaps horrible mistakes concerning these things. Likewise, I have faith that many of those who celebrate unrighteously IMO every misstep made by the church are willing to make mountains out of molehills and sometimes lie or grossly misrepresent the truth. But that does not mean that every accusation is false and every problem unearthed should be squashed. I have thought a great deal about Sam Young and I do not believe it best that youth discussion of sexual mores ENDS. Sam Young is no hero IMO largely because his quest today was 6th on his list of reasons to not sustain church leaders just a year ago and I believe it is merely the cause that propelled him to fame not the beginning or end of his disagreement with the church he once embraced. That being said, I am happy that some actions have been taken by the church concerning bishop interviews and I think it possible others will happen as we continue to discover the challenges of the world in the Church. Concerning sexual sin in general, especially sexual sin involving folks over 18 and folks under 18, my non-inspired view is … Repentance is possible, but should be separate and not related to earthly consequences. Ecclesiastical discernment is possible, but should be associated with continued membership NOT continued responsibility for children and NOT for avoidance of civil investigation. Guidelines should exist that are always followed unless a lawyer (non-inspired) and a leader (hopefully inspired) agree that a certain case is EXTRAORDINARY and some different outcome should be pursued (these instances should be rare or non-existent depending upon the guidelines that are created). I believe this is the LAST dispensation ONLY because Sam Young and other folks (more noble folks in some cases as I question Sam Young’s motivation as I mentioned above), do not believe that church leaders, even those who receive revelation from God are different type of men than we all are. Previous dispensations could not continue not because the pool of men who could lead righteously was far more shallow than it is in the last dispensation. Instead the whole of humanity (the branches) support God’s leaders and the root neither overcomes the branches nor do the branches whither completely. This is a balance that comes with the God guided belief in the equality of mankind which acts to check even inspired leaders. Most of this comes from my reading of Val Larsen’s A Mormon Theodicy: Jacob and the Problem of Evil. Anyway, I will wait to see where the chips fall. I have faith that any evil uncovered will not be faith destroying, but it IMO is too early to suggest there will be little or no evil uncovered. Charity, TOm
  15. I have thought about how to protect youth a bit. For about $1000 per bishop’s office and about $200k of development, I think a few changes could make a big difference. Bishops will be behind their desks, youth will close the door and sit in a chair across from the desk. If both are not seated in 15sec, the door will open AND a somewhat obnoxious beep will sound until it is ignored for 45sec leading to a very obnoxious beep or the door is closed for another 15sec attempt. If both are seated after 15sec, when the youth later stand up he/she will have 15sec to open the door of said somewhat obnoxious beep will sound and door will pop open (the Bishop will not get up). The conversation will be recorded, but upon leaving the youth will choose to delete the conversation or send it to the stake president, themselves, and maybe someone else (parent or police), indicating that the conversation was inappropriate somehow. I do not know if it is COMMON for a LDS bishop to give a “father’s blessing” to youth. I was never a LDS youth. The above would frustrate this, but I am not sure if it happens. If I was made the head of the CoJCoLDS tomorrow and continued to have the degree of inspiration I currently have (God help us), this is what I would do to protect youth, Bishops, and the church. I have not seen solid evidence that the Bishop interview process results in substantial risk to youth AND I believe that there are considerations of which I am not aware. So, if nothing happens, I think that is fine. If things get much worse (or are shown to be much worse) and there are significant and clear abuses, I think something will then need to be done. I hope that is not too much “ark steadying.” I have thought what I would do if I knew Mr. Young. If I knew him to care deeply about the church AND to not be involved and/or sympathetic with many criticisms of the church, I would counsel him to pursue his agenda differently, but I would respect his concerns and see them as a viable opinion. If he had encouraged every criticism of the church from Delhin to Kelly to … I could still consider him flawed human worthy of my love, but I would not believe his criticism was founded in profound concern. Charity, TOm