Reason #140: Changes in the “eternal” temple ceremonies

Many middle-aged and younger Mormons express doubt when told about the LDS temple endowment ceremonies of the past. A series of major changes happened about 20 years ago, including the change of women’s covenanting obedience to their husbands, the elimination of the depiction of a Protestant minister as “a hireling of Satan,” less emphasis on Masonic rituals in the ceremonies, and the depiction of overt demonstrations of throat slitting and other penalties for revealing temple secrets or disobedience. After the changes went into effect, the New York Times reported about them, and those which took place in 1927, in an article in May 1990.  You can read the article here. For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member...

Reason #139: The Downgrading of a “Standard Work” of Scripture

A recent article in an LDS publication gives a hint to how the Mormon church may choose to deal with the embarrassment of the Pearl of Great Price. Like many other elements of Mormonism which have brought negative attention to the LDS church, it may just “go away.” One way is through de-emphasis. The speaker quoted in the article, John Gee, listed what he referred to as the six essential elements of Mormonism– God exists; Jesus Christ is His Son; God talked and still talks with men through the power of the Holy Ghost; Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the world; the Atonement is available to those who trust Jesus, turn from sin, make and keep sacred covenants, and follow the course throughout their lives; and the Book of Mormon is true, an...

Reason #138–Questions about the Seer Stone

An important part of Joseph Smith’s early life was a seer stone by which he claimed to be able to find hidden treasure.  (Here is some information from the official LDS Web site about his practices and the existence of the stone.) Researcher Bruce MacArthur has posed some interesting questions about the seer stone. Anyone want to tackle answering? The FIRST is this: According to Martin Harris, Joseph Smith used his “seer stone” to locate the plates of gold.  On the other hand, the Pearl of Great Price; Joseph Smith — History 1, verse 42 ends with these words — “.. While he {Moroni} was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so...

New Site Offers Testimonies from Ex-Mormon Scholars

A new site, ExMormonScholarsTestify.org, gives reasons why thinking people made the decision to leave the LDS Church. My testimony is the first on the site. Do you know other ex-Mormon scholars whose stories should be told as well?   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 #137: The Nahom Controversy

Some LDs writers have said that a settlement in southern Arabia named NHM is the Nahom of the Book of Mormon. In Hebrew (and I’m just a student, not an expert), vowels are not written out in most cases. Thus NHM, whose root means “mourning” could be Naham (1 Chron. 4:19), Nehum (Ne. 7:7) and Nahum (Na. 1:1) and not a name unique to the Book of Mormon, which tells of “Nahom” in 1 Nephi 16:34. Read an article with the pros and cons of the controversy, along with links for further study here. One LDS writer says it is the first archaeological proof for the Book of Mormon. What is your opinion?   For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today(Zondervan, 2009). Also...