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Repressed Church History?


rickg

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OK. Here's one of the big reasons for me coming to this forum. Some years ago (5 or 6) my brother had some bad experiences with his stake pres, that I won't go into detail about right now. Anyhow, he more or less quit going to church in a bit of a huff. Started looking at "anti" stuff on the 'net, and came across some guys web sight. Apparently he had been a "good, active" member of the church, and for what ever reason was doing research on church history in Salt Lake. I'm under the assumption that he somehow got access to the church's archives. I guess he supposedly started finding things about either Joseph Smith, or Brigham Young(or maybe both) that the church leaders were keeping secret and hidden away, for whatever reasons. He left the church, and wrote this big book about his "discoveries", which my brother bought and then left the church for good. Had his name removed from the records and all.

I only saw the book sitting in his family room, but never picked it up, or talked to my brother about it. What I know about it comes from my wife talking to his wife. My brother and I can't discuss any of this without major tempers flaring, so we've had to "agree to disagree", and let it go, focusing instead on our brother-brother relationship. But I've been curious about that book since. I'm pretty confidant there's nothing in it that'd sway my testimony. I really don't want to read it, but am just curious about what all the fuss is about.

Anybody know anything about this book, and/or the guy that wrote it? Maybe it's been discussed here?

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OK. Here's one of the big reasons for me coming to this forum. Some years ago (5 or 6) my brother had some bad experiences with his stake pres, that I won't go into detail about right now. Anyhow, he more or less quit going to church in a bit of a huff. Started looking at "anti" stuff on the 'net, and came across some guys web sight. Apparently he had been a "good, active" member of the church, and for what ever reason was doing research on church history in Salt Lake. I'm under the assumption that he somehow got access to the church's archives. I guess he supposedly started finding things about either Joseph Smith, or Brigham Young(or maybe both) that the church leaders were keeping secret and hidden away, for whatever reasons. He left the church, and wrote this big book about his "discoveries", which my brother bought and then left the church for good. Had his name removed from the records and all.

I only saw the book sitting in his family room, but never picked it up, or talked to my brother about it. What I know about it comes from my wife talking to his wife. My brother and I can't discuss any of this without major tempers flaring, so we've had to "agree to disagree", and let it go, focusing instead on our brother-brother relationship. But I've been curious about that book since. I'm pretty confidant there's nothing in it that'd sway my testimony. I really don't want to read it, but am just curious about what all the fuss is about.

Anybody know anything about this book, and/or the guy that wrote it? Maybe it's been discussed here?

Ed Decker?

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I have a big book that I jokingly call a tombstone size book of problems in Mormonism. The book is called Mormonism Shadow or Reality by Jerald and Sandra Tanner.

Some of the stuff might effect you testimony much more than you think. You will run into issues you never heard. You have to be well read in FARMS Review of Books, FARMS website, and FAIR's, and much more to be well aware of all the answers.

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I know of no reason to believe that there's a smoking gun, hidden in the Church archives, that would prove Mormonism false. I've done a fair amount of historical study myself, and, moreover, I know many of the leading Mormon historians (the large majority of whom are active believers). In fact, Leonard Arrington, the late Church Historian and eminent scholar of Mormonism, once commented to me that he had been in every corner of the archives, and that there were no skeletons hidden in the Church's closet.

Are there historical issues that might help some to lose faith? Certainly. But they have nothing to do with anything hidden in the archives.

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Wish I could give a name, or the title of the book. I know, with the vast ocean of stuff out there, my inquiry is pretty vague. I do know it's not Decker, or the Tanners. Was just hoping something might ring a bell with someone here.

BTW, Jerald Tanner was one of the missionaries that helped converted my grandparents to the church back in the early 40's! Wierd, huh?

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Read a book and lose a testimony. How true is your testimony?

Don't read a book for fear of losing testimony. How true is your testimony?

A believer should be able to read anything and know whether it is of God or not.

Where there is the Holy Spirit , why is there fear?

Your brother sees your fear, and it reassures his testimony, that you have a weak foundation.

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I'm 99% sure. I know it was a Tanner, and he was a brother to the general authority Tanner. I wouldn't be surprised he left out mission service form his bio. I know his name isn't ever mentioned in Eldon Tanners bio. My uncle went to a fireside that Elder Tanner spoke at, and got to shake his hand afterwards. He made the mistake of mentioning how his brother helped convert his family, and got the coldest shoulder he ever got from a church leader. Elder Tanner all but turned and walked away.

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I'm 99% sure. I know it was a Tanner, and he was a brother to the general authority Tanner. I wouldn't be surprised he left out mission service form his bio. I know his name isn't ever mentioned in Eldon Tanners bio.

Jerald Tanner, an American, was certainly not a brother of the much older Canadian N. Eldon Tanner.

My uncle went to a fireside that Elder Tanner spoke at, and got to shake his hand afterwards. He made the mistake of mentioning how his brother helped convert his family, and got the coldest shoulder he ever got from a church leader. Elder Tanner all but turned and walked away.

Perhaps he was baffled.

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Many events or incidents in Church history are not usually that important in terms of the gospel so they are not discussed in Church meetings. If one wants to learn about Church history, they either have to take class on church history or do it on their own. Its not that the LDS Church represses history but simply it has other priorities. I believe that when we are judged by the Lord, he will judge us on more important issues like whether we did our hometeaching or honest to our fellow man rather than be a "Ken Jennings" on LDS trivia. What so and so may or may not have done 150 years ago has no relevance to what we are expected to do today by the Lord.

I will say however that in my experience LDS members on average have a better grasp on LDS Church history than non-LDS have on non-LDS Christian church history. How many non-LDS CHristians I have meet think that God somehow put the Bible together and decided what was to be in the Bible and what was not is simply absurd when one understands "Church history" in how the Bible was put together. Their ignorance is based on lack of understanding of non-LDS Christian church history. Are the non-LDS churches repressing their history? I don't know. Maybe they are and maybe they are simply trying to focus the limited time and attention span that people have on more important things.

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I know of no reason to believe that there's a smoking gun, hidden in the Church archives, that would prove Mormonism false. I've done a fair amount of historical study myself, and, moreover, I know many of the leading Mormon historians (the large majority of whom are active believers). In fact, Leonard Arrington, the late Church Historian and eminent scholar of Mormonism, once commented to me that he had been in every corner of the archives, and that there were no skeletons hidden in the Church's closet.

Are there historical issues that might help some to lose faith? Certainly. But they have nothing to do with anything hidden in the archives.

Can you provide an example of what would constitute a hidden smoking gun in the archives which would prove Mormonism false ?

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that's good that you and your brother can still be on good terms. I've heard so many sad stories about families that really tear apart when someone leaves.

I'd say read it. Put your testimony to the test. Don't be too afraid of it, unless you feel your testimony is not strong enough. It will either reveal to you something of truth, or it will make you stronger in what you believe now. If it were free (and, hopefully had a cover design pleasing to the eye :P ) I wouldn't hestitate to pick up an anti-Christian book. Frankly, what I have read so far has made me a stronger Christian. It was actually certain Christian stuff that first lead me to doubt my faith! But a little doubt can be good for growth.

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OK. Here's one of the big reasons for me coming to this forum. Some years ago (5 or 6) my brother had some bad experiences with his stake pres, that I won't go into detail about right now. Anyhow, he more or less quit going to church in a bit of a huff. Started looking at "anti" stuff on the 'net, and came across some guys web sight. Apparently he had been a "good, active" member of the church, and for what ever reason was doing research on church history in Salt Lake. I'm under the assumption that he somehow got access to the church's archives. I guess he supposedly started finding things about either Joseph Smith, or Brigham Young(or maybe both) that the church leaders were keeping secret and hidden away, for whatever reasons. He left the church, and wrote this big book about his "discoveries", which my brother bought and then left the church for good. Had his name removed from the records and all.

I only saw the book sitting in his family room, but never picked it up, or talked to my brother about it. What I know about it comes from my wife talking to his wife. My brother and I can't discuss any of this without major tempers flaring, so we've had to "agree to disagree", and let it go, focusing instead on our brother-brother relationship. But I've been curious about that book since. I'm pretty confidant there's nothing in it that'd sway my testimony. I really don't want to read it, but am just curious about what all the fuss is about.

Anybody know anything about this book, and/or the guy that wrote it? Maybe it's been discussed here?

Its not true that any church leader kept anything "under wraps" that was not individual

privacy. if you do find the book, And i hope you do, with diligent research you will soon

find its probably either full of crap lies, or perfectly explainable and only makes sense.

:P

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Can you provide an example of what would constitute a hidden smoking gun in the archives which would prove Mormonism false ?

I was just in the deepest darkest vaults of the archives (I "borrowed" a top secret pass from one of the guards I know, and used a color photocopier to make my own). As my fingers carefully dug through the old and newer papers, I was amazed at the dirt I discovered!

I think they need to get a maid down there more often. I'm still sneezing....

Gary

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that's good that you and your brother can still be on good terms. I've heard so many sad stories about families that really tear apart when someone leaves.

I'd say read it. Put your testimony to the test. Don't be too afraid of it, unless you feel your testimony is not strong enough. It will either reveal to you something of truth, or it will make you stronger in what you believe now. If it were free (and, hopefully had a cover design pleasing to the eye :P ) I wouldn't hestitate to pick up an anti-Christian book. Frankly, what I have read so far has made me a stronger Christian. It was actually certain Christian stuff that first lead me to doubt my faith! But a little doubt can be good for growth.

I had my 12 year old son watch the new anti-Mormon video Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith, then discussed it with him. The following day, we watched the "Testaments." I asked him to describe the feelings he had during each one, and he could tell the difference between the Spirit witnessing of the Book of Mormon, and Satan witnessing against Joseph Smith.

Read the book, as long as you have a firm reference to compare it to. That should be your testimony, and the peace of mind it has given you throughout the years in testifying of spiritual truth.

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I had my 12 year old son watch the new anti-Mormon video Jesus Christ/Joseph Smith, then discussed it with him. The following day, we watched the "Testaments." I asked him to describe the feelings he had during each one, and he could tell the difference between the Spirit witnessing of the Book of Mormon, and Satan witnessing against Joseph Smith.

Read the book, as long as you have a firm reference to compare it to. That should be your testimony, and the peace of mind it has given you throughout the years in testifying of spiritual truth.

You need to be careful what you term spirt of "good" or "evil". I watched the PBS special last week on the "Mormons" and the feeling you get from it was somewhat negative I would admit. However, I would not call this the spirit of the devil so much as I would call it the nature of the subject matter and the attitudes of the various people presenting the material. Its kind of like going to a seminar on "date rape". The subject matter is not light and cheerful and there is no way to present it as such. No normal person walks out of a seminar of that nature with a cheerful, warm fuzzy feeling, you wouldn't say that it is because of the influence of Satan, it is because the subject matter is serious even somber and it deals with very negative and real problems in our society.

Likewise a documentary dealing with negative issues or "real" history of the church would not or should not leave someone with warm fuzzy feelings, there is just too much persecution, drama and other events that cannot be fixed with some light hearted theme music.

Let me give you an example... I don't know if you have ever watched the legacy movie at temple square but if you have it is one of those well put together pieces that definately pulls the right strings in a person. Most of us would say that we felt the spirit and account our warm fuzzies to that. However, if you really sit down and think about it you quickly realize that the movie is a professionally crafted "work of art". It has beautiful music queuing at just the right time, close ups that really bring home the drama and on and on. If I were to take the same subject matter and story and produce it on a shoe string budget I can guarantee you that I would not produce the same effect on people as that production did.

My point is that we put way too much trust in our feelings and emotions and not enough trust in our reasoning and logic. Yes, there is a time and place for emotion but at the same time we should not be devoid of common sense and sanity. Don't be deceived by smooth talking, polished productions whether they be for or against the church, do your homework, dig into the history, use your mind that is what it is there for.

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I agree with you. I've found it takes a combination of "warm fuzzies" and intelligence to make a firm testimony. Maybe that was part of my brothers problem. He's never been good with emotion. Everything needs to be "logical", almost mathematical. I doubt he ever shed a tear during a moving tesimony, or talk, or anything at church. But to be too much on the emotional side is unstable ground at best.

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