Reason #130: Because I Won’t Ever Be that Fascinating

I was a faithful Mormon “girl” at BYU when Fascinating Womanhood by Helen Andelin was the gold standard for Mormon young women. In the dorms we often talked about some of the ideals of this book. It had a lasting effect on me in several ways. 1) Even at the time I recognized that it gave strategies to maneuver a man to do what you wanted by letting him think it was his idea. 2) That seemed right and good to me, because in Mormon society, women don’t hold any public leadership roles in which they can actually “command” a man to do anything. So this was a good strategy — but all in good fun, I thought. 3) Even after I left the Mormon Church that I so loved (because of doctrinal issues), Andelin’s book and principles...

Reason #129: Because the writing of some biblical texts in other languages does not support “reformed Egyptian”

Paul Davidson, on the Recovery from Mormonism discussion board, says a Mormon apologist defending the concept of the LDS teachings about the Book of Mormon  being written in “reformed Egyptian” told him: “By the ninth to sixth centuries before Christ, Israelites used Egyptian numerals mingled with Hebrew text. The Papyrus Amherst 63 contains a text of Psalms 20:2-6 written in Aramaic (the language of Jesus) using Egyptian characters. This text was originally dated to the second century B.C., but this has since been extended to the 4th century B.C. For further examples you can see the Byblos Syllabic texts, the Cretan hieroglyphics, Meroitic, Psalm 20 in demotic Egyptian (seen above), and Proto-Sinaitic and the alphabet.” In response, Richard...

Reason #128: Because Vikings Can’t Prove Mormonism

Some LDS apologists are touting an archaeological excavation of a settlement at L’anse aux Meadow to try to draw a parallel between the mythical Nephite metallurgy and that of Vikings. But that’s not a legitimate parallel, notes an observer on the RfM message board who calls herself Elee (you can email her here): The Viking settlement is considered to have been a temporary settlement, lasting only a few years. The reasoning behind this conclusion is that, aside from the building foundations, very few artifacts have actually been found at the site. Enough to show Viking/Norse occupation, but still very limited. This settlement was used for likely less than 10 years and then abandoned. It is also likely to have housed fewer than 50 people at any given...

Reason #127: Because of LDS teachings about prayer

Joseph Smith taught that all forms of prayer were ineffective if they were not couched in the format of the LDS Prayer Circle in a Mormon temple.  Explore the evidences for this claim, as well as the contention that this practice was Gnostic as well.  My friend Janis Hutchinson has done an exhaustive study on this subject, and you can read it here. Provocative, highly documented, and startling! For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today(Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading...

Reason #126: A fictional account of losing faith in Mormonism

In the previous item on the “365 Reasons” blog I described the situation that caused me to lose faith in Mormonism.  I have tried to describe this in a fictional account, too:  my novel, Latter-day Cipher. In this passage, an LDS man who is a spokesman for the church is explaining how he will counter the criticisms of non-members in an upcoming press conference. But this man, Roger, does not know that his wife Eliza is beginning to have doubts about the LDS church: “But don’t worry – the Church has people – many of them—who are fulltime researchers, who spend every day working on explanations  that Gentiles would understand. And of course money is no object. BYU has a Web site, and scores of individuals do too, that make it their...