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Popular Anti-Mormon Misconceptions


Pahoran

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A number of false claims are enduring features of the anti-Mormon demimonde. Here are a few of them:

"The FARMS people are paid apologists." The fact is that not one of them has received a red cent for their apologetics work.

"There are unsually high rates of anti-depressant drug use and suicide in Mormonism."

This claim is made by manipulating statistics. A check of these assertions discloses the following facts:

1) The "rate of... suicide in Mormonism" is merely inferred from the fact that Utah's suicide rate is higher than the US average. However,

2) The intermountain states lead the US in suicide rates; and

3) Utah trails the rest of the intermountain states. In fact, its suicide rate is less than two-thirds of Wyoming's, the highest ranked state.

This information can be checked here.

Put bluntly, Utah's suicide rate is higher than average because it is an intermountain state; however, it is lower than the other intermountain states. Now, I wonder why that could be? In what other way is Utah significantly different from its neighbours?

Now there may be some other explanations, but the rather obvious inference is that the Mormon presence in Utah tends to counteract (although not completely) the "mountain air" influence on suicide rates in the West.

Likewise, on the subject of "unsually high rates of anti-depressant drug use," A check of this assertion discloses the following facts:

1) The "rate of anti-depressant drug use... in Mormonism" is merely inferred from the fact that one pharmaceutical manufacturer reported an unusually high uptake of its product (prozac) in Utah compared to the US average. However,

2) Other manufacturers did not report such results, suggesting only that doctors are making particular choices when prescribing. (This is a fairly widely observed phenomenon when there is only one medical school in an area.) This means that extrapolating from the usage of a single drug is a fairly reliable way of skewing the results; and

3) Mormons do not self-medicate with alcohol, and are thus more likely to seek medical assistance in cases of depression.

Put bluntly, Mormons are no more likely to be depressed than anyone else, a fact that becomes apparent from even a cursory check of these claims.

"The Book of Mormon says Jesus would be born in Jerusalem. This contradicts the Bible! Jesus was born in Bethlehem!"

Yes, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Such is and always has been the position of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon passage in question (Alma 7:10) simply says, "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin...." Thus, the passage does not identify the town where Jesus was born, but merely the "land." If the expression "the land of Jerusalem" means anything at all, then it means the area under the control of the city; and Bethlehem is rather inescapably in it.

What's actually important about Alma 7:10 is that it affirms the Virgin Birth. Which is and always has been official Mormon doctrine.

"The Book of Mormon was supposed to be translated from an ancient language, but it includes the word 'adieu!' Did the Nephites speak French?"

Yes, it contains the word "adieu." It also contains words like "and," "the" and "God." These, like "adieu," are English words in use in Joseph's day. What makes "adieu" a bit exotic is that it was borrowed from French. Well woop-de-do, so were beef, pork and mutton.

"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven." This brazen and shameless falsehood is found in an "official" publication of "Concerned Christians" here.

"Mormonism" teaches no such thing. It never has and never will. "Mormonism" teaches that Jesus Christ will judge all of us.

Does any "Christian," concerned or otherwise, wish to defend these claims?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Studies that should be considered when discussing suicide and depression among LDS are the ones demonstrating that the higher the religiousity of a teenage boy, the less likely he is to commit suicide and the reported greater life satisfaction and comparable happiness/depression rates between LDS and nonLDS women. If I feel unlazy enough, I'll try and find the cites for these, but they've been mentioned on the board multiple times so anyone should be able to find these in a search.

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"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven." This brazen and shameless falsehood is found in an "official" publication of "Concerned Christians" here.

"Mormonism" teaches no such thing. It never has and never will. "Mormonism" teaches that Jesus Christ will judge all of us.

You know, I really dug for this one- Journal of Discourses, Sunstone, Dialogue, FARMS, Mcconkie, all the databases I have. Couldn't find anything. Hard to be an official teaching of the church if it's not found in ANY of our official or unofficial records, histories, etc.

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what i really like about the 'Jesus born at Jerusalem or bethlehem' controversy is that most anti-mormons discount the BOM by suggesting that Joseph Smith wrote it himself-argueing that he was VERY well versed in the bible and was a scholar at many other biblical aspects of writing as well....

Then-they have the nerve to suggest at the same time that Joseph Smith knew so LITTLE about the bible that he didn't even know where Jesus was born. :P

Which is it? Is Joseph too smart for all of us-or too dumb?

Makes me laugh every time i read that one. <_<

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"The FARMS people are paid apologists."  The fact is that not one of them has received a red cent for their apologetics work.

That's not true. DP himself in a thread a few months ago said he has received $$ for apologetics (not much, but more than 'a red cent').

"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven."

Doesn't the husband have to call the wife out of the grave? [moderated out] It's been a while since I've been to the temple, so sorry if my memory's a bit hazy on this.

I don't necessarily think that means that the husband gets to 'decide', but I think you could derive that from the temple.

Some of the other stuff is silly, I agree.

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"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven." This brazen and shameless falsehood is found in an "official" publication of "Concerned Christians" here.

"Mormonism" teaches no such thing. It never has and never will. "Mormonism" teaches that Jesus Christ will judge all of us.

You know, I really dug for this one- Journal of Discourses, Sunstone, Dialogue, FARMS, Mcconkie, all the databases I have. Couldn't find anything. Hard to be an official teaching of the church if it's not found in ANY of our official or unofficial records, histories, etc.

This claim derives, I believe, from material which cannot be discussed on this message board---i.e., stuff from the temple pre-1990. News stories (such as in the NY Times detailing the changes can give you sense of why "Concerned Christians" might have thought the way they did. Whether or not material from the temple ceremony is considered "official" would have to be a topic for another thread.

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what i really like about the 'Jesus born at Jerusalem or bethlehem' controversy is that most anti-mormons discount the BOM by suggesting that Joseph Smith wrote it himself-argueing that he was VERY well versed in the bible and was a scholar at many other biblical aspects of writing as well....

Then-they have the nerve to suggest at the same time that Joseph Smith knew so LITTLE about the bible that he didn't even know where Jesus was born. :P

Which is it? Is Joseph too smart for all of us-or too dumb?

Makes me laugh every time i read that one. <_<

On a recent business trip in Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa, I had a few occasions to tell people I was from Salt Lake City. Then, realizing that I was talking to Church members who were likely familiar with Utah to one degree or another, I amended myself and said, "Actually, I'm from Salt Lake in the same sense that the Book of Mormon says Christ would be born 'at Jerusalem.' I'm really from Sandy."

Another example: I once visited Naperville, Ill. There, I learned that the city of Naperville is part of a broad region surrounding Chicago and known to locals as "Chicagoland." Kind of like Bethlehem being in "the land of" Jerusalem.

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what i really like about the 'Jesus born at Jerusalem or bethlehem' controversy is that most anti-mormons discount the BOM by suggesting that Joseph Smith wrote it himself-argueing that he was VERY well versed in the bible and was a scholar at many other biblical aspects of writing as well....

Then-they have the nerve to suggest at the same time that Joseph Smith knew so LITTLE about the bible that he didn't even know where Jesus was born.  :P

Which is it?  Is Joseph too smart for all of us-or too dumb?

Makes me laugh every time i read that one.  <_<

Yes, that is a good one, isn't it? What carols did Joseph sing every Christmas? "O Little Town of Jerusalem?" Did his version of "We Three Kings" include the line "Born a king on Jerusalem's plain?"

Regards,

Pahoran

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"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven." This brazen and shameless falsehood is found in an "official" publication of "Concerned Christians" here.

"Mormonism" teaches no such thing. It never has and never will. "Mormonism" teaches that Jesus Christ will judge all of us.

You know, I really dug for this one- Journal of Discourses, Sunstone, Dialogue, FARMS, Mcconkie, all the databases I have. Couldn't find anything. Hard to be an official teaching of the church if it's not found in ANY of our official or unofficial records, histories, etc.

This claim derives, I believe, from material which cannot be discussed on this message board---i.e., stuff from the temple pre-1990. News stories (such as in the NY Times detailing the changes can give you sense of why "Concerned Christians" might have thought the way they did. Whether or not material from the temple ceremony is considered "official" would have to be a topic for another thread.

Pure and unadulterated bull caca. Many of us here who received our temple ordinances before 1990 can testify to the bull-caca-ness of this statement. There is nothing in the pre-1990 endowment to suggest that women only "get to heaven" if their husbands hold the door.

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what i really like about the 'Jesus born at Jerusalem or bethlehem' controversy is that most anti-mormons discount the BOM by suggesting that Joseph Smith wrote it himself-argueing that he was VERY well versed in the bible and was a scholar at many other biblical aspects of writing as well....

Then-they have the nerve to suggest at the same time that Joseph Smith knew so LITTLE about the bible that he didn't even know where Jesus was born.  :P

Which is it?  Is Joseph too smart for all of us-or too dumb?

Makes me laugh every time i read that one.  <_<

Yes, that is a good one, isn't it? What carols did Joseph sing every Christmas? "O Little Town of Jerusalem?" Did his version of "We Three Kings" include the line "Born a king on Jerusalem's plain?"

Regards,

Pahoran

Actually, Joseph (and most of the early saints) didn't celebrate Christman (Puritan roots) until the Nauvoo period (when the flood of English converts reintroduced it).

But yes, just about every child in america knew that Christ was born in Bethlehem.

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"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven." This brazen and shameless falsehood is found in an "official" publication of "Concerned Christians" here.

"Mormonism" teaches no such thing. It never has and never will. "Mormonism" teaches that Jesus Christ will judge all of us.

You know, I really dug for this one- Journal of Discourses, Sunstone, Dialogue, FARMS, Mcconkie, all the databases I have. Couldn't find anything. Hard to be an official teaching of the church if it's not found in ANY of our official or unofficial records, histories, etc.

This claim derives, I believe, from material which cannot be discussed on this message board---i.e., stuff from the temple pre-1990. News stories (such as in the NY Times detailing the changes can give you sense of why "Concerned Christians" might have thought the way they did. Whether or not material from the temple ceremony is considered "official" would have to be a topic for another thread.

Pure and unadulterated bull caca. Many of us here who received our temple ordinances before 1990 can testify to the bull-caca-ness of this statement. There is nothing in the pre-1990 endowment to suggest that women only "get to heaven" if their husbands hold the door.

Having been endowed in 1974, I, for one, will attest to the bull-caca-ness.

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"The FARMS people are paid apologists."  The fact is that not one of them has received a red cent for their apologetics work.

That's not true. DP himself in a thread a few months ago said he has received $$ for apologetics (not much, but more than 'a red cent').

http://farms.byu.edu/pdf.php?filename=MTA2...=&type=cmV2aWV3

What the heck is that?

You post a 12 page document without saying anything about it, and you just expect me to spend time reading through it?

It is about the nature of what FARMS is and how no one gets paid for the apologetic work they contribute. The only people who actually get paid by FARMS are those who actually put together and edit the review, etc., not those who write the apologetic materials.

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It is about the nature of what FARMS is and how no one gets paid for the apologetic work they contribute. The only people who actually get paid by FARMS are those who actually put together and edit the review, etc., not those who write the apologetic materials.

You could have written that in the first place.

However, I don't need to read it. I know what DP wrote. I'm sure if you wanted I could dig up the post. Or, perhaps, he can visit this thread and verify.

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It is about the nature of what FARMS is and how no one gets paid for the apologetic work they contribute. The only people who actually get paid by FARMS are those who actually put together and edit the review, etc., not those who write the apologetic materials.

You could have written that in the first place.

However, I don't need to read it. I know what DP wrote.

Then you know the "paid apologist" chant is essentially false.

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Then you know the "paid apologist" chant is essentially false.

I know that. But the 'one red cent' chant is false too.

Here's DP btw:

I've occasionally received fairly minimal payments for "apologetic" articles or for certain editorial tasks (the totals of which, broken down, almost certainly don't reach minimum wage)

(I don't know how to link to specific posts in a different thread.

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It is about the nature of what FARMS is and how no one gets paid for the apologetic work they contribute. The only people who actually get paid by FARMS are those who actually put together and edit the review, etc., not those who write the apologetic materials.

You could have written that in the first place.

However, I don't need to read it. I know what DP wrote.

Then you know the "paid apologist" chant is essentially false.

If a statement is "essentially" false, does that mean its also "essentially" true.

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"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven." This brazen and shameless falsehood is found in an "official" publication of "Concerned Christians" here.

"Mormonism" teaches no such thing. It never has and never will. "Mormonism" teaches that Jesus Christ will judge all of us.

You know, I really dug for this one- Journal of Discourses, Sunstone, Dialogue, FARMS, Mcconkie, all the databases I have. Couldn't find anything. Hard to be an official teaching of the church if it's not found in ANY of our official or unofficial records, histories, etc.

This claim derives, I believe, from material which cannot be discussed on this message board---i.e., stuff from the temple pre-1990.

That is not the case. I have the entire ceremony memorised word-for-word.

But I must congratulate you on the skill of your imposture. You simultaneously manage to give the impression of having supporting evidence for this disgusting falsehood, and show yourself to be a kindly, respectful fellow who would never dream of profaning the Temple. Well done indeed.

News stories (such as in the NY Times detailing the changes can give you sense of why "Concerned Christians" might have thought the way they did.

If they are relying upon garbled newspaper reports, then it is clear that they don't have any actual LDS sources to support their falsehoods.

Whether or not material from the temple ceremony is considered "official" would have to be a topic for another thread.

It would indeed.

Regards,

Pahoran

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This claim derives, I believe, from material which cannot be discussed on this message board---i.e., stuff from the temple pre-1990. News stories (such as in the NY Times detailing the changes can give you sense of why "Concerned Christians" might have thought the way they did. Whether or not material from the temple ceremony is considered "official" would have to be a topic for another thread.

Pure and unadulterated bull caca. Many of us here who received our temple ordinances before 1990 can testify to the bull-caca-ness of this statement. There is nothing in the pre-1990 endowment to suggest that women only "get to heaven" if their husbands hold the door.

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It is about the nature of what FARMS is and how no one gets paid for the apologetic work they contribute. The only people who actually get paid by FARMS are those who actually put together and edit the review, etc., not those who write the apologetic materials.

You could have written that in the first place.

However, I don't need to read it. I know what DP wrote.

Then you know the "paid apologist" chant is essentially false.

If a statement is "essentially" false, does that mean its also "essentially" true.

In the Orwellian universe of anti-Mormon propaganda, perhaps. But not in reality.

I'm using "essentially" here as a synonym for "virtually," or "for all intents and purposes."

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Then you know the "paid apologist" chant is essentially false.

I know that. But the 'one red cent' chant is false too.

I will concede that "one red cent" was a very slight exaggeration and therefore, given your tendency to ubercritical nit-picking, a poor choice of words.

Now please either produce an actual paid apologist or move along.

I don't expect you to actually concede that my assertion was substantially true; your refusal to address it at all will be concession enough.

If a statement is "essentially" false, does that mean its also "essentially" true.

No.

Regards,

Pahoran

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"Mormonism teaches that the husband decides if the wife can go to heaven." This brazen and shameless falsehood is found in an "official" publication of "Concerned Christians" here.

"Mormonism" teaches no such thing. It never has and never will. "Mormonism" teaches that Jesus Christ will judge all of us.

You know, I really dug for this one- Journal of Discourses, Sunstone, Dialogue, FARMS, Mcconkie, all the databases I have. Couldn't find anything. Hard to be an official teaching of the church if it's not found in ANY of our official or unofficial records, histories, etc.

This claim derives, I believe, from material which cannot be discussed on this message board---i.e., stuff from the temple pre-1990. News stories (such as in the NY Times detailing the changes can give you sense of why "Concerned Christians" might have thought the way they did. Whether or not material from the temple ceremony is considered "official" would have to be a topic for another thread.

Pure and unadulterated bull caca. Many of us here who received our temple ordinances before 1990 can testify to the bull-caca-ness of this statement. There is nothing in the pre-1990 endowment to suggest that women only "get to heaven" if their husbands hold the door.

I suppose that would depend upon your definition of "heaven".

In my former existence of being an active LDS woman, my idea of true heaven was the celestial kingdom, and specifically exhaltation. From that perspective this is not so bull-caca at all.

Pre-1990 endowed.

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