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DonBradley

The Latest Anti-Mormon Deception: "Futuremissionary.Com"

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Hello from FutureMissionary. I do honestly appreciate your critisisms. As I'm sure most of you know, showing up in the mission field is quite a shocker. All you ever hear is that it's the best 2 years, but most people show up not even realizing you work on Sundays. :) My goal was to present facts objectively without adding my own spin. I can definitely see how that seems overly negative. Great point about me not doing enough positive. This was more a result of me trying to tell missionaries what they don't already know. I'll get to adding more positive stuff asap.

Regarding the investigator FAQ's, I'm 100% open to better info and better answers if you have them. I did a ton of research to get as far as I did, but I'm sure I still have a long way to go. If you have any FAQ that you think needs better info, more info, or just better sources, please let me know and I'll make the change.

Again, I really do appreciate the critisism. Anything I can do to not be seen as 'anti', I will. Thanks!

I'm impressed you have joined the thread. All I can say is 'brace yourself.'

If you genuinely want to inoculate the future missionaries while supporting their desire to go, I suggest you work more closely and openly with people like FAIR and remove your links to MormonThink and the CES letter.

I agree that the reality of a mission and the ideal of a mission are two very different things. I thought Elders walked two feet above the ground when I was on the plane to my mission. That soon was an image shattered.

But seriously, an independent 'honest look' can be better than what you've got.

If you're genuinely a sheep not a wolf, stop sounding like you're growling on every page beyond the home page.

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I'm impressed you have joined the thread. All I can say is 'brace yourself.'

Haha. I'm as ready as I can be. :) Luckily I'm here to work with you guys, not fight you.

If you genuinely want to inoculate the future missionaries while supporting their desire to go, I suggest you work more closely and openly with people like FAIR and remove your links to MormonThink and the CES letter.

I agree that the reality of a mission and the ideal of a mission are two very different things. I thought Elders walked two feet above the ground when I was on the plane to my mission. That soon was an image shattered.

But seriously, an independent 'honest look' can be better than what you've got.

If you're genuinely a sheep not a wolf, stop sounding like you're growling on every page beyond the home page.

Valid points with the links. I'll start digging. If you have better ones that you know offhand, I certainly wouldn't turn away the help. :)

Doesn't mention that JS ran on a 'free the slaves' platform.

That's awesome. I had no idea. Do you have a source for that? If not, no worries. I'm sure I can dig one up.

Another choice tidbit:

Doesn't mention that missionaries are much less likely to be killed on a mission then they would be if they stayed home.

Great point. I've updated that FAQ:

"Unfortunately, many missionaries have died while on their missions. From 1999 to 2006, three LDS missionaries were murdered and 22 died in accidents. Many other missionaries have been kidnapped, raped, and robbed. That said, you are statistically less likely to die on a mission than commuting to work every day. Having only 25 die during this 7-year period is no minor miracle, but don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you’re doing the Lord’s work, you’re immune from death. Be aware of your surrounding, don’t take unnecessary risks, and always look both ways when crossing the street."

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Knock yourself out here: http://www.blacklds.org/platform

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So why did you post the letter to the CES employee without posting his response?

If you really intend to help missionaries prepare, don't you think it would be wiser to put up answers at the same time as questions? Especially if you imply you are trying to help them understand the issues?

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Jerald and Sandra Tanner own the domain "bookofmormon.com," which re-directs to the UTLM website.

Par for the course.

-Smac

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I did a ton of research to get as far as I did, but I'm sure I still have a long way to go.
How strange that so much of your material looks like it was pulled from anti-sites and you just so happened to have missed finding out the positive stuff about missions and other stuff. Edited by calmoriah

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futuremissionary:

What I have read of your Blog isn't real promising. But if you are really sincere don't Cherry Pick. For every Mark E. Peterson there is a David O. McKay and a Spencer W. Kimball.

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You need to remove the link to wivesofjosephsmith as well. They alter quotes to make the women appear to be saying what they are not. I will try and find the detailed analysis I did on their quotes of Helen's....hopefully they are in the archives.

What you need to do is to use the quotes on the wives site to find the original sources and link or quote from them in their own words without editing.

Edited by calmoriah

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So why did you post the letter to the CES employee without posting his response?

If you really intend to help missionaries prepare, don't you think it would be wiser to put up answers at the same time as questions? Especially if you imply you are trying to help them understand the issues?

Has he responded? Where? Can you post a link?

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Great article, thanks! By the way, here's the actual link: http://www.blacklds.org/platform. I've updated that FAQ (http://futuremissionary.com/what-do-mormons-believe/black-mormons/#slavery) as well as added one to the page on Joseph Smith.

So why did you post the letter to the CES employee without posting his response?

If you really intend to help missionaries prepare, don't you think it would be wiser to put up answers at the same time as questions? Especially if you imply you are trying to help them understand the issues?

I didn't realize there was one. Link?

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Boooorrrriiiinnnnggggg! These "members" must be really bored. Thanks for pointing out this slighted and backhanded approach to LDS history and theology, Don.

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This is what I love about people on this board, they aren't clamping down shut on futuremissionary.com, but offering suggestions on how better to show truth, both sides, well rounded sides...and once the church figures out how, so as not to push away members etc. they want it also. Just look at the JS' s papers and Bushman, Givens etc. The leaders are in the camp of truth too, but it needs to be done in a way that won't destroy a testimony.

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I didn't realize there was one. Link?

You really posted one side of a conversation without trying to find out if there was another side to it? I have to say I am not that impressed with the level of your research and there seems to be lacking any concern about presenting a balanced POV. To be taken seriously you are really going to have to step up your game and put as much work into your material as you did to making the site look good.

As far as Helen Mar Kimball and the anti-polygamy site you linked to, I can't find the thread due to either it being deleted or the name of the board changing thus destroying the links I stored so I will only be able to find it by eyeballing if I am lucky. Here is a site from which I found her own words so you can do the same research I did and discover just how much that site misrepresented her: http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/HWhitney.html

And I am asking my question again....why did you put up an attack as massive as that to the CES letter without posting answers along with it?

Edited by calmoriah

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Boooorrrriiiinnnnggggg! These "members" must be really bored. Thanks for pointing out this slighted and backhanded approach to LDS history and theology, Don.

The site editor has joined the thread (two posts above you).

It appears this is not boredom but a genuine desire to help and support Elders.

I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt so I will see what changes really are made.

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You really posted one side of a conversation without trying to find out if there was another side to it? I have to say I am not that impressed with the level of your research and there seems to be lacking any concern about presenting a balanced POV. To be taken seriously you are really going to have to step up your game and put as much work into your material as you did to making the site look good.

As far as Helen Mar Kimball and the anti-polygamy site you linked to, I can't find the thread due to either it being deleted or the name of the board changing thus destroying the links I stored so I will only be able to find it by eyeballing if I am lucky. Here is a site from which I found her own words so you can do the same research I did and discover just how much that site misrepresented her: http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/HWhitney.html

And I am asking my question again....why did you put up an attack as massive as that to the CES letter without posting answers along with it?

So the CES director hasn't replied? I got the impression from your post that he had.

Perhaps we should give FM the benefit of the doubt. I've posted the phrase 'wolf in sheep's clothing' on a couple of sites.

Perhaps he's really a sheep in wolf's clothing in sheep's clothing. If he is genuinely seeking input and feedback then let's take the offer.

FM, to gain a little good will, tell us a little about yourself. How recently back? Why have you leant on mainly Wikipedia/MT pages and given so little space to FAIR? You had at least one link to FAIR on there so I know you know the site exists.

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When someone like Don, who does not use the term anti-Mormon lightly, is concerned then I'm inclined to take his concerns seriously.

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So the CES director hasn't replied? I got the impression from your post that he had.

Perhaps we should give FM the benefit of the doubt. I've posted the phrase 'wolf in sheep's clothing' on a couple of sites.

Perhaps he's really a sheep in wolf's clothing in sheep's clothing. If he is genuinely seeking input and feedback then let's take the offer.

FM, to gain a little good will, tell us a little about yourself. How recently back? Why have you leant on mainly Wikipedia/MT pages and given so little space to FAIR? You had at least one link to FAIR on there so I know you know the site exists.

Even if he has leaned mainly on wiki, his ommissions are inexplicable.

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If I had had access to a web site like Futuremissionary.com prior to my mission...I would have thought twice about serving a mission and purhaps wouldn't have gone...and that would have been a great tragedy in my life…since I absolutely loved every minute of my mission…but at that time, I believed the church was all it claimed to be as well in those days. While my mission is where I was first exposed to many of the difficulties found at Futuremissionary.com that eventually led me out of the church, I would not be the man I am today had I not served my mission…and it would have been a great loss in my life to have not served.

Edited by Johnnie Cake

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FM, to gain a little good will, tell us a little about yourself. How recently back? Why have you leant on mainly Wikipedia/MT pages and given so little space to FAIR? You had at least one link to FAIR on there so I know you know the site exists.

I understand everyone's skeptisism so I do appreacite you giving me the benefit of a doubt. Both my wife and I have been back around 10 years (that just blew my mind, btw). I served in Brasil and she served in Spanish-speaking US. My last calling was Sunday school, but we just had a ward split and I haven't been given a new one. I must be far less aggressive seeming in real life because when I talk about this stuff in person, I don't seem to offend anyone. Tone is always so tough to convey online.

I used to be anti-Wikipedia for links, but I've changed my tune a bit. It's not difinitive, but it's a great jumping off point for tangential learning. Why not FAIR? I think FAIR can be a great resource, but it also has its downsides. My target viewers are those prepping for a mission - teenagers. Their attention spans are short and FAIR articles tend to be very long and require a lot of additional reading, often times requiring offline reading. I'd rather give a glimpse of info that I know they'll read, rather than a mountain of info they won't. Aslo, a significant portion of my traffic is mobile. Unfortuantely, FAIR is very poorly optimized for this medium.

And I am asking my question again....why did you put up an attack as massive as that to the CES letter without posting answers along with it?

I was hoping to get a bit of community involvment. Unfortuantely, most of the responses I got were through private email. I've asked them if they'd be okay for me to post their responses, but I haven't heard back. By the way, when I asked for a link it wasn't because I hadn't searched for one. I was just trying to be polite, not wanting to call you out on the fact that there wasn't one. ;)

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There are a few "Thinker(ing) here with who I speak who once had testimonies, and not live to plow, sow and plants the seeds of destruction. The think bank then pointing how closed minded we are. Then you have Mormons arguing wonder with another. Until so leave, others banneded still others with limit accounts. So suggesting others church it out is only making the chicken

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My last calling was Sunday school, but we just had a ward split and I haven't been given a new one. I must be far less aggressive seeming in real life because when I talk about this stuff in person, I don't seem to offend anyone. Tone is always so tough to convey online.

Very true. And if you're new to internet discussing, you've caught onto this issue quickly.

But, there is also, when speaking to people in person their reactions are often a bit more guarded and perhaps more polite. I've learned that though people seem to receive things well in person they often do not. they simply don't express their displeasure--either not knowing how to respond or to save you from embarrassment or contention. Just a thought.

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Friends,

As you know, I am generally inclined to spend more time on scholarship pertaining to the Restoration than on apologetics. However, the latest anti-Mormon tactics need to be exposed.

Many of you are probably familiar with the anti-Mormon website MormonThink, which attempts to deceive LDS readers into believing that they are reading a fair assessment of the evidence by fellow saints.

The enemies of the Church who have created the new website www.futuremissionary.com have cleverly taken the deception several steps further. (Indeed, this site is almost certainly created by some of the same people involved with MormonThink.) They claim to be three returned missionaries trying to help prepare future missionaries for the difficult issues they will encounter in the field. They sprinkle in some genuine-sounding advice about dealing with companions and the like, but only so they can later drop critical bombshells on unsuspecting kids preparing to go on missions.

How do I know these people are trying to tear down faith rather than build it up? Overwhelmingly, the site drops difficult information on its readers without providing any meaningful context to make sense of it. And it frequently links to the reader to obviously anti-Mormon "MormonThink" for the details. Check out the site and ask yourself why anyone would construct it this way and what kind of effect this would have on teenagers preparing for missions.

I rarely use the term "anti-Mormon." I don't even generally like to call non-believing discussants on the boards "critics." But those who would try to gain Church members' trust by pretending to be fellow saints, in order to destroy their testimonies, deserve the term "anti-Mormon" even more than long-time critics like Sandra Tanner do. (People like the Tanners have never claimed to be Mormons trying to help build up other Mormons' faith.)

Above all websites I have seen, this one would be my pick as the most blatant wolf in sheep's clothing. It aims to damage the Church's growth by deceiving its future missionaries into reading critical material. (I'm not the only one who has noticed the site's anti-Mormonism, by the way. A person promoting this site on staylds.org was booted off their board because of futuremissionary.com's evident anti-Mormon intent.)

Presumably these people believe they are leading Mormon kids away from the Church to some kind of higher truth. But I find it telling that they feel the need to do so by absolute deception.

I genuinely respect decent critics of the Church like Aaron Shafovaloff who are just honestly trying to lead us to the truth as they see it. But when I see these "futuremissionaries.com" people trying to gain LDS kids' trust by pretending to be LDS only so they can demolish their testimonies makes my blood boil.

Please (after verifying for yourselves, if you'd like) spread the word that this is not a genuine missionary preparation site but an anti-Mormon deception.

It should also be put on lists of anti-Mormon websites.

Yours Truly,

Don Bradley

Thank you for making me aware of this site. I wouldn't have found this site without your help. Had I known about this site, before I went on my mission, it may have made a difference. As it was, I was pre-programmed to go on a mission. I gave it little forethought, it was just what was expected of me. But looking back, with the wisdom of age and maturity, I know my mission was 80% hell, with a small percentage of good, enrichening experiences. It definitely was not the best two years of my life. My life, in general, has been too involved and full of golden development to call my mission experiences the best of my life.

Questions that arose on my mission would maybe have been less detrimental, had I been prepared for when they arose. Even before the internet, people in general were not ignorant about issues of Mormonism, such as polyandry, Biblical inconsistancies, or Joseph Smith's use of seer stones, as I was, when I attempted to teach the six prepared lessons that led to baptism.

I was very successful on my mission. I lead numbers of baptisms over several of my companions, who in my evaluation, were more humble, more giving, than me. But it was numbers that counted. I had other companions who inflated proselyting hours on reports, and were very "inventive" regarding teaching opportunities, who might have reconsidered, had they known that numbers were not the only games being played.

My sons never went on missions, but should my grandchildren ever consider going to proselyte in foreign countries, at least now I have something to reference besides "grandpa's ramblings".

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I used to be anti-Wikipedia for links, but I've changed my tune a bit. It's not difinitive, but it's a great jumping off point for tangential learning. Why not FAIR? I think FAIR can be a great resource, but it also has its downsides. My target viewers are those prepping for a mission - teenagers. Their attention spans are short and FAIR articles tend to be very long and require a lot of additional reading, often times requiring offline reading. I'd rather give a glimpse of info that I know they'll read, rather than a mountain of info they won't. Aslo, a significant portion of my traffic is mobile. Unfortuantely, FAIR is very poorly optimized for this medium.

They may be teenagers, but if they are getting ready for a mission, then it's time for them to grow up. That means doing their homework. The short and quick answers I've seen on the site just doesn't work. Summarize whatever you need to, but make them do their homework too.

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There are a few "Thinker(ing) here with who I speak who once had testimonies, and not live to plow, sow and plants the seeds of destruction. The think bank then pointing how closed minded we are. Then you have Mormons arguing wonder with another. Until so leave, others banneded still others with limit accounts. So suggesting others church it out is only making the chicken

Judasfreakingpriest Pa Pa, are you awake when you write?...

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