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DonBradley

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

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Actually, it was still worded funny. Nooow it's fixed. :) Thanks again for your feedback.

You're still not showing that you know the difference in appearing as an anti-Mormon and appearing as someone who has faith in what the Lord has told us is true about Mormonism, though. Minor details are piddly when you stil haven't changed the overall tone of your message.

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I served in Brazil. I never ate dinner. It wasn't because of any "No investigators, No Dinner", it was because dinner didn't exist (at least in my area of Brazil). You ate a quick breakfast, a massive lunch, tried to stay awake with a full stomach and a hot day, and then went home, had a small drink/meal (I guess you could call that dinner) and went to sleep. The idea of having an hour or two set aside for dinner is foreign to me.

I think this is sort of a silly side-show to the main point about the usefulness/accuracy/real intent of the highly problematic site,...

BUT...

I happen to know a little about this side-show too, so I'll chime in.

I went to the Recife Brasil mission 1995-1997, under Presidents Clark and Gollaher (real people, look em up. somewhere). In the Recife mission, there wasn't a planned dinner time in the missionary schedule because PEOPLE DIDNT EAT "DINNER" as a meal. Lunch was the daily meal. "Dinner" was possibly corn meal or hard roll and a cup of coffee (or cevada/coffee substitute for members), just to keep your belly from talking or to have something to visit around. Likewise "dinner" among working but poor men could also be sitting around eaten appetizers and drinking cane-alcohol for recreation while playing dominoes.

So as missionaries, we had a big lunch, and worked until we went back to the apt where we'd shower and eat a piece of french bread roll and fall into bed. No dinner. ever. Not a rule; we weren't even trying to have dinner; it was just the way the culture was. If we were hanging out in a social context with people with food/drink in the evening, there better be (potential) investigators there, or you're just sloughing off. So yeah, if we were to insist on "dinner" it'd be in that context and therefore we'd need to be working.

When I was a greeny and not used to that meal system, I'd eat too little at lunch and my senior companions were nice enough to me to let me grab some bread and juice during the "dinner hour" while we were out. Once I got used to the system, that went away on its own.

OK, side-show over.

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I think this is sort of a silly side-show to the main point about the usefulness/accuracy/real intent of the highly problematic site,...

BUT...

I happen to know a little about this side-show too, so I'll chime in.

I went to the Recife Brasil mission 1995-1997, under Presidents Clark and Gollaher (real people, look em up. somewhere). In the Recife mission, there wasn't a planned dinner time in the missionary schedule because PEOPLE DIDNT EAT "DINNER" as a meal. Lunch was the daily meal. "Dinner" was possibly corn meal or hard roll and a cup of coffee (or cevada/coffee substitute for members), just to keep your belly from talking or to have something to visit around. Likewise "dinner" among working but poor men could also be sitting around eaten appetizers and drinking cane-alcohol for recreation while playing dominoes.

So as missionaries, we had a big lunch, and worked until we went back to the apt where we'd shower and eat a piece of french bread roll and fall into bed. No dinner. ever. Not a rule; we weren't even trying to have dinner; it was just the way the culture was. If we were hanging out in a social context with people with food/drink in the evening, there better be (potential) investigators there, or you're just sloughing off. So yeah, if we were to insist on "dinner" it'd be in that context and therefore we'd need to be working.

When I was a greeny and not used to that meal system, I'd eat too little at lunch and my senior companions were nice enough to me to let me grab some bread and juice during the "dinner hour" while we were out. Once I got used to the system, that went away on its own.

OK, side-show over.

It's clear to me FM was not lying then. He probably had roommate or roommates that were there longer and just passed on how they don't eat dinner, and maybe gave him a piece of bread to hold him over, sounds reasonable that he'd get the idea it was a rule.

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FutureMissionary,

In place of making minor adjustments to make the site appear not to be intended as an anti-Mormon site, I would encourage you to make the change that would really make your site honest: simply admit that it is presenting a case against Mormonism, from your critical vantage point. Might this decrease your site traffic? Sure. But it would keep you from the mistake of thinking that two lies make a truth. As it stands right now your site is premised on the idea that if (as you see it) Joseph Smith lied, then you need to lie in order to set things right. But you can't win a real victory for truth that way. As Gandhi said, as the means, so the ends. In other words, if you use falsehood as a means, you're going to end up having increased the world's falsehood, not its truth.

Your readers deserve better than that. And, since I believe you are basically a well-intentioned person, you deserve better than that, better than having to compromise your integrity and having to hide your true intentions. Just be straight up as a critic of Mormonism. Frame your site honestly.

Don

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It's clear to me FM was not lying then. He probably had roommate or roommates that were there longer and just passed on how they don't eat dinner, and maybe gave him a piece of bread to hold him over, sounds reasonable that he'd get the idea it was a rule.

And then of course it was just an innocent mistake that he would frame this piece of information in such a way to suggest that the Church has complete disregard for the health and wellbeing of its missionaries ...

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By the way, this ancient strategem has a name: synchoresis-- 'a type of concession made to create an impression of fairness and impartiality'.

'In his book The Prince, Machiavelli wrote about how to conquer and preserve authority. The impression of being fair and honest may, if the preservation of the authority requires it, be followed by tricks, lies and violence' (Bengt Carlsson and Paul Davidsson, 'A biological view of information infosystems'. Intelligent Agent Technology: research and development, ed. Ning Zhong et al. World Scientific, 2001).

Edited by Hamba Tuhan

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How this is even debatable of whether or not there are ulterior motives is beyond me.

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It's clear to me FM was not lying then. He probably had roommate or roommates that were there longer and just passed on how they don't eat dinner, and maybe gave him a piece of bread to hold him over, sounds reasonable that he'd get the idea it was a rule.

FM exploited the 'facts' and made it seem more than it actually was. He could have mentioned the various cultural norms that one can experience on the mission. I don't think that he did that at all. And his tone could have been faith promoting. So, he is misleading with his text.

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It's clear to me FM was not lying then. He probably had roommate or roommates that were there longer and just passed on how they don't eat dinner, and maybe gave him a piece of bread to hold him over, sounds reasonable that he'd get the idea it was a rule.

It's not necessarily about whether or not he was lying about the rule of no dinner....but the context that he set it up: Ie. missionaries were starving or losing weight from it. I also didn't have set dinners....because our mission combined our dinner and lunch hour into a big 2 hr block. For our lunch. I am one of those people who needs food consistently to feel ok. And I was perfectly ok. In fact sometimes I preferred not to have dinner appointments just so that we could work more....they could be time consuming.

Overall, I made my initial critique to your site here. And a lot of those concerns remain. Other notes:

There is no way to fully "prep" someone for a mission. It's just not feasible. I'm one of those cautious people who asked everybody and their dog about a mission, read the white handbook pre-mission, etc....and it was still a surprise...I still felt like I was entering into another world when I left. For most it wasn't a shocker though. Asking anyone pre-mish, the answer was the same: It was great, I loved it, and it was a ton of hard work. As long as they're not like one of my companions who thought it was supposed to be kinda like an extended EFY trip, I think they'll be just fine for a bit of surprise. Your site is excessively negative and frankly to me states more about your current position and probably how you were as a missionary than anything else.

Your 10 things have things that are true, certainly: You're mostly not alone, not everyone goes for the right reasons, carnal desires don't magically go away. Those I'd basically completely agree with.

Things I wouldn't: Some do wait (or are at least available when you get back), it's rare...but it happens. I really don't remember a whole lot of "faith promoting rumors"...I never heard of your example. Why would I need them anyways when I saw and heard plenty of real miracles and faith-promoting events??? Though there's a chance you'll have a gay companion, the statistical probability doesn't lend itself for that. 1 in 10 might are likely to experiment but on only 2-5% (depending the stats used) actually identify with said orientation. A person can have at most 12-16 companions (assuming they never had 2 transfers together with any of their companions). Most likely, you'll have far less. Statistically that's just not enough people for it to be probable. Possible, yes, but not probable. I agree they need more sensitivity in language, dialogue, and thought. But having them wonder which of their companions is gay is probably not going to help. Bible bashing isn't effective, but honestly some of your site is set up in such a manner that you're encouraging some sort of fighting on the mish. And though not everyone goes for the right reasons, there is no reason why they cannot finish for the right ones. Missions change you, your purpose changes,...or at least it should. Oh and I most certainly do remember it being one of the best times of my life on my mission. There were points that were excruciating, but they also gave me the greatest growth and some of my most profound spiritual experiences. By the second half, I remember being at complete and total peace for the first time in my life. That feeling is indescribable. I felt whole and not alone and I loved and thrived on the gospel. I was so amazingly happy. It was definitely the best 18 months of my life up to that point. And though not every day was some "spiritual high," "Truly spiritual experiences" were not far and few in-between at all.

This would not be my top 10 things you'd need to know at all. Not if I wanted greater and stronger missionaries.

One last thing. I'm half black and I'm not uber racially sensitive...but your "black mormons" page is insulting! It's beyond ridiculous. I frankly don't know where to start...the only two I don't have too much problems with are the first two points. The interracial marriage as sin, blacks go to the CK, and why were black born black, are without any cultural/historical context, have no relevant or present perspective, and looks like it was cherry picked from some anti-mormon website. To all of the questions - all of them - the easier answer would have simply been: they were just about as racist as anyone else in their time period. And: these beliefs did not survive their era; they are entirely false and contradicted by current revelation and scripture. The history 70-150 years in the past are given excessive prominence, while the actual state of things are left with whimpy descriptions that make the current policies seem more speculative than the more likely folk doctrine thought 100 years past. I feel that page would do more to harm race relations and understanding in the church than it would do good. Want proof: You've got some random racist troll in your comments section just below.

Very last comment: If someone wants to understand the mormons who've gone less active that they are now currently teaching, there's not much of a need to look at John Dehlin. Frankly, the ones who've left for reasoning similar to Dehlin aren't very likely to sit down with missionaries that they most likely perceive as naive and a poor source for alleviating their problems. Frankly, Dehlin himself probably would have been too proud to sit down and talk with the missionaries....it's too low on the totem pole. To understand the less actives you'll meet on the mission the formula is quite simply: talk to them, listen to their concerns and their problems, teach to their needs, serve and love them, then go from there.

With luv,

BD

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One last thing. I'm half black and I'm not uber racially sensitive...but your "black mormons" page is insulting! It's beyond ridiculous. I frankly don't know where to start...the only two I don't have too much problems with are the first two points. The interracial marriage as sin, blacks go to the CK, and why were black born black, are without any cultural/historical context, have no relevant or present perspective, and looks like it was cherry picked from some anti-mormon website. To all of the questions - all of them - the easier answer would have simply been: they were just about as racist as anyone else in their time period. And: these beliefs did not survive their era; they are entirely false and contradicted by current revelation and scripture. The history 70-150 years in the past are given excessive prominence, while the actual state of things are left with whimpy descriptions that make the current policies seem more speculative than the more likely folk doctrine thought 100 years past. I feel that page would do more to harm race relations and understanding in the church than it would do good. Want proof: You've got some random racist troll in your comments section just below.

+100.

The "Black Mormons" page on FutureMissionary.com is sophomoric, and the way it is set up is the biggest indicator of the true, critical nature of the website.

WW

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By the way, this ancient strategem has a name: synchoresis-- 'a type of concession made to create an impression of fairness and impartiality'.

'In his book The Prince, Machiavelli wrote about how to conquer and preserve authority. The impression of being fair and honest may, if the preservation of the authority requires it, be followed by tricks, lies and violence' (Bengt Carlsson and Paul Davidsson, 'A biological view of information infosystems'. Intelligent Agent Technology: research and development, ed. Ning Zhong et al. World Scientific, 2001).

I remember watching a short documentary on how to identify a psychotic. They make a careful study of normal human behaviour and are able to fake caring and loving behaviour.

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I remember watching a short documentary on how to identify a psychotic. They make a careful study of normal human behaviour and are able to fake caring and loving behaviour.

*psychopath. But yes, which makes me curious why so many are playing along with his 'ignorant and stupid but totally looking for all suggestions and won't argue with anyone' routine.

Agree above with BlueDreams. Interesting comments on Dehlin hypothetically sitting down with missionaries. I remember him stating that for resolving his concerns that reading the scriptures just doesn't work for him.

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I noticed there is a FAQ question "How Do I Handle Tough Questions?" but it links to nothing and there is no such subject in the master list.

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I love apologetics and freedom to discuss sensitive issues, but there's a time and a place for everything and a mission is not it. Missionaries are supposed to keep it simple and focus on the essentials of the gospel. If (or, more likely, when) someone on my mission asks me about LDS racial issues, I'm not going to recite everything I know on the subject (which is a lot more than the cherry-picked crud on this website); I'll just say "Mormons have historically been no more or less racist than their peers, and for a time blacks were banned from the priesthood for unknown reasons but they haven't been since we received a revelation over thirty years ago." Bam. That's all they need to know and if they want to know more they can consult a scholar, not a missionary.

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So the ex-Mormons from the ex-Mormon subreddit trolled the comment section of the FutureMissionary site on the "Black Mormons" page. They dumped a bunch of comments about how "we" Latter-day Saints need to heed the words of "our" leaders from the 1950's....

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Well, I found a site which is worse than FutureMissionary. It pretends to be written by members of the Church, and it is hugely offensive:

mormons and negros . org

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I love apologetics and freedom to discuss sensitive issues, but there's a time and a place for everything and a mission is not it. Missionaries are supposed to keep it simple and focus on the essentials of the gospel. If (or, more likely, when) someone on my mission asks me about LDS racial issues, I'm not going to recite everything I know on the subject (which is a lot more than the cherry-picked crud on this website); I'll just say "Mormons have historically been no more or less racist than their peers, and for a time blacks were banned from the priesthood for unknown reasons but they haven't been since we received a revelation over thirty years ago." Bam. That's all they need to know and if they want to know more they can consult a scholar, not a missionary.

And instead they can get baptised in ignorance and discover the reality of the mess once you've moved to a new area. Got it.

Bam? I wasn't aware we encouraged our missionaries to 'Bam' anyone.

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So the ex-Mormons from the ex-Mormon subreddit trolled the comment section of the FutureMissionary site on the "Black Mormons" page. They dumped a bunch of comments about how "we" Latter-day Saints need to heed the words of "our" leaders from the 1950's....

Well, on the bright side, at least they recognized Latter-day Saints have moved passed the 1950s. <_<:rolleyes:

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Well, I found a site which is worse than FutureMissionary. It pretends to be written by members of the Church, and it is hugely offensive:

mormons and negros . org

I would imagine that it's fairly obviously not from the church. It's a piece of satire responding to the m&g website. I'm not saying it's funny.

Are any of the quotes fabrications? Will you be creating a 'spin-free' page of the quotes with extra content before/after the quote? I'd be interested to understand the context to some of them.

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"James Christensen" who is taking credit for the site on Facebook can be readily found as someone who lives in SLC. However, it is clearly a fake Facebook account with no family member friends, limited info, etc.

some of the language is non- Mormonspeak so I dont think whoever this is was actually a former missionary.

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I would imagine that it's fairly obviously not from the church. It's a piece of satire responding to the m&g website. I'm not saying it's funny.

Are any of the quotes fabrications? Will you be creating a 'spin-free' page of the quotes with extra content before/after the quote? I'd be interested to understand the context to some of them.

I haven't checked yet, but I am confident that the quotes are all correct, because I've seen them before.

I will eventually create a "spin free" page of those quotes with context. However, adding context to racist quotes sometimes simply exposes more racism on the part of the speaker. FutureMissionary's "Black Mormons" page liberally quotes Mark E. Peterson's 1954 talk, which is....simply heinous. Simple context will not help Elder Peterson in this instance.

What I have to do for the racist quotes is not simply add the context, but take into account temporal context. I have to provide additional quotes from either the same individual or from other Church leaders which reflect the more modern position of the Church. For example, it would be easy to quote Bruce R. McConkie's Mormon Doctrine stuff about blacks not being valiant in the pre-existence (FutureMissionary does this) in context and it simply won't help because there is a time factor involved. I would need to also quote McConkie's statement after 1978 to "forget everything that I said." Placing quotes in context sometimes means placing them within a temporal context.

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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.

FAIR has posted an analysis and response to FutureMissionary.com on the FAIR Wiki. Since the site also includes the exit story "A Letter to a CES Director" in its entirety (which in turn uses graphics from the anti-Mormon site "mormoninfographics,") the response to that section is under construction and not yet complete. The FutureMissionary review is linked on the front page of the FAIR Wiki. The response to "A Letter to a CES Director" will soon follow.

  • FutureMissionary.com
    The website FutureMissionary.com is designed to shake the faith of prospective missionaries by blindsiding them with troubling issues related to Church history. The site's anonymous authors claim to be returned missionaries, and write as though they are "believing" members who naively accept and promote controversial statements and ideas without question. The most prominent and detailed page on the website is "A Letter to a CES Director: Why I Lost My Testimony." The authors claim that such blatant materials will help to prepare missionaries for questions and challenges they will face. In reality, the letter and other material on the site only introduce attacks on the church without discussing crucial context and explanations that would help readers fully understand the material. The approach and tone of the FutureMissionary site resembles that of MormonThink.com before MormonThink became openly antagonistic toward the Church in late 2012. (Link)

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FAIR has posted an analysis and response to FutureMissionary.com on the FAIR Wiki. Since the site also includes the exit story "A Letter to a CES Director" in its entirety (which in turn uses graphics from the anti-Mormon site "mormoninfographics,") the response to that section is under construction and not yet complete. The FutureMissionary review is linked on the front page of the FAIR Wiki. The response to "A Letter to a CES Director" will soon follow.

RE: First Vision infographic error as pointed out in the FAIR article

http://en.fairmormon.org/Criticism_of_Mormonism/Online_documents/Letter_to_a_CES_Director/First_Vision_Concerns_%26_Questions

I am the owner and main contributor to mormoninfographics.com I wanted to thank you or whoever for pointing out the error I had in the 1835 Jewish Minister account. I had mistakenly labeled his age as 17. This has since been corrected. I apologize for the error and welcome any and all input on this or any other infographic. Thank you.

The updated infographic can be viewed here:

http://www.mormoninfographics.com/2012/09/joseph-smiths-first-vision-and-his.html

First+Vision+v02.png

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I got a chuckle from the "Gay Comp" picture with two Missionaries holding hands...while I never had a gay comp (that I know of) nor am I gay...there were several missionaries who were quite feminime in their mannerisms....and always left me wondering which team they played for...

A comment nicely tailored to confirm the "FutureMissionary" site in creating fear in prospective missionaries that they'll have gay companions.

I'll bet the guy who put that picture on the FM site also got a chuckle out of it.

Don

Edited by DonBradley

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no longer applicable :)

Edited by calmoriah

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