Reason #52: Because LDS Sources Enlist Unwilling “Advocates”

When I was a Mormon, I and other people told prospective Mormons that the Smithsonian Institute believed and supported Book of Mormon archaeology.  Of course that venerable organization did no such thing, and became so deluged with requests that they routinely sent (and, I would assume, still send) out a form letter to inquirers stating that they never have. A more recent version of this appeared on BYU”‘s official Maxwell Institute,  pointing to a horse found in Florida carbon-dated to 100 BC.  However,  in private correspondence I asked Dr. Bruce J. MacFadden, the University of Florida”‘s Florida Museum of Natural History”‘s Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology:   “What is the latest, pre-Columbian date for which we...

What I Write and Why I Write It

I have been active on the HBO Big Love message boards recently, and one person who identified himself as a Mormon asked why I wrote the books I have written. I”‘m pretty sure that what he was getting at was an explanation for the books I”‘ve written on Mormonism.  But of course, if you read the “about me” section of this Web site you will see that I have written and had published hundreds of articles on many non-religious subjects such as robots, identity theft, retirement, and professional writing.  However, as I promised this LDS man on the HBO boards, here is a brief listing of my completed books (and my reasons for writing them), in approximately chronological order. The Mormon Mirage (Zondervan, first edition, 1979.) ...

Blogging, Big Love and “Big Talk”

What an unusual week for me.  Last Sunday night the HBO series Big Love depicted for the first time in major media a scene from the secret Mormon temple endowment.  It was tastefully done and apparently not completely gratuitious (plot-wise.) It provided an opportunity for me to once again log onto the Big Love discussion boards at HBO, where I have in the past been quoted — by others– as an expert on Mormonism.  All week long, I provided information and links and insights from my own time as a very happy Mormon, and my experiences in an LDS temple. There was a lot of emotion there!  Mormons were angry and defensive.  Non-religious people were often insulting and demeaning.  I knew that I could help, and was so glad to do so.  Here is a private...

Reason #51: Because Latter-day Revelation Didn’t Create Unity

  Whatever its effects upon the religious world, Mormonism has not, as it originally purposed, done away with religious division. Its aberrations of Scripture and liberties with the Word of God, though, have in the past caused Christianity to solidify against it. In that sense, Mormonism has unified many otherwise disassociated religious elements. But it has added its own share of splinter groups to the denominations of the world, too””and all claim to be the “true” church which Joseph Smith founded. Since the death of Joseph Smith, many denominations claiming authority from him have come into being. Some estimates run as high as 160 such groups;[i] a conservative estimate is about 60. Some are small, clannish and secretive. Most of these...

Reason #50 — Because of the Book of Mormon and Polygamy

  Probably one of the hottest areas of controversy rages around the Book of Mormon”‘s teachings on polygamy. Those unfamiliar with the teachings of this book might be surprised to learn that polygamy was flatly condemned in the book of Jacob. Jacob was a Nephite prophet who said polygamy was abominable (2:24), and equated the practice with whoredoms (2:28). Modern Mormons, though, twist verse 30 of this same chapter””For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people, otherwise they shall hearken unto these things”””to provide for possible future endorsement of the practice God considered so abhorrent. The earlier Jaredites, however, had no teachings we know of on polygamy, but several...