365 Reasons

Reason #197: Count up the Book of Mormon Changes for Yourself

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I’ve seen estimates as high as over 5,000, describing the number of changes in the Book of Mormon from its first “inspired wording” to recent editions. But don’t take my word, or anyone else’s for that. Look on this site and compare multiple digital versions for yourself:

Facsimilies of Historic Book of Mormon Editions

Very interesting!

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 devices.

Also available by Latayne C. Scott, Latter-day Cipher: A Novel

 

 

Reason #196: Because It Goes Beyond Tallying Risks

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I’ve often heard Christians express frustration with non-believers, offering this argument:  If Christianity is true, you should believe it to benefit from its advantages, not the least of which is eternal life. And if it’s not true and there is no eternal reward, they reason, what does one have to lose by living the Christian life?

However, the same argument is used by Mormons — and has been used on me. If Mormonism is true, I (unlike the average “never-Mo” or someone who was never a Mormon) risk eternal damnation by continuing to reject Mormonism. The reasoning is this:  Just return to Mormonism. If it’s not true, what would I lose as compared to such a catastrophic loss?

The issue is truth. This business of the gain and loss of one’s soul can’t be done according to advantages versus disadvantages, nor according to percentages of probability, nor according to personal preference or political correctness.

Jesus didn’t just say He was the Way and the Life. He said He was Truth embodied. Though faith involves reason, it is not based on our own reasoning abilities but upon one fact:  Someone came to this earth, taught an unchanging message, and died for that message. But unlike any other religious martyr in history, He rose from the dead, thus vindicating everything He ever said.

That is truth, and that is worth risking everything for. 

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 devices.

Also available by Latayne C. Scott, Latter-day Cipher: A Novel

 

 

Reason #195: Incredible LDS Missionary Attrition Rates [edited for clarity]

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One of the most knowledgeable ex-Mormons I know is Richard Packham. He is not the kind of person who makes extravagant statements about Mormonism (true, it’s usually not necessary to embellish it, right?)  He has these very interesting insights about how many Mormon missionaries leave the LDS church after serving full-time missions. Here are Packham’s words (reprinted with his permission):

I first heard that 40% [of LDS missionaries eventually leave Mormonism] . . . from a post on an Internet discussion
group dealing with Mormonism a few years ago by someone who had a relative working at the MTC [Missionary Training Center.] This relative told the poster that the staff at the MTC had been urged to do nothing to damage the new
missionaries’ testimonies, because 40% of them will end up out of the church.

At the time, since it was not verifiable, I viewed it as interesting, but not reliable.

Only a few weeks later I was attending a conference in SLC [Salt Lake City] and was
introduced to a young man who had just recently finished his mission,
and who had left the church. I mentioned this post, and the 40% figure,
and asked him what he thought about it. He said that when he was in the
MTC the missionaries had been told the same thing: if you are not
careful, 40% of you will eventually leave the church. That seemed to
confirm what the original poster had said.

I think most members are unaware of how many people leave the church.
Even Mormon sociologist Armand Mauss estimates that among new converts
in the US and Canada, 50% are no longer active one year after baptism,
and that in other countries the figure is 75%. That seems to be
confirmed by looking at census figures in countries where the religion
of the citizens is tabulated. The number of Mormons found by the census
in Chile in 2002, for example, was 103,735. But according to the church,
they had 520,202 members listed on their records. That would indicate
that 75% of their members of record do not identify themselves as
Mormon. And of course a member who had resigned or been excommunicated
would not appear on the church records as a member, but would raise the
number of exmormons.

In Mexico the situation is similar. The 2000 census showed 205,229
Mormons in Mexico, but the church had almost 850,000 members on its records.

RMs [Returned Missionaries] are a very prominent presence on all of the ex-mormon discussion
boards, although there is no way of counting them.

FWIW [For what it’s worth] my very devout grandson served a mission in Germany, married in
the temple, and surprised us all a couple of years ago by leaving the
church (I had nothing to do with his apostasy – I was as surprised as
his parents were). And it’s not just the missionaries who “didn’t have
their heart in the work.” My grandson, I’m sure, was a hard-working,
faithful missionary. And John Williams, the author of the book I
reviewed [see below] also was evidently a hard-working, faithful missionary. He,
too, has left the church, although one would not guess that from his book.

I would suspect, too, that missionaries who were BIC [Born in the Church or Born in the Covenant] and from strong
Mormon backgrounds (such as your family) will have fewer apostates among
their missionaries than among those missionaries who are relatively
recent converts, whose families are not strong in the church, or who
served a mission primarily due to pressure from the Mormon society and
not from personal conviction.

[Book that Packham reviewed:]
> Title: Heaven Up Here
> Author: John K. Williams
> Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
> Genre: Autobiography
> Year Published: 2011
> Number of Pages: 341, (367 Kb)
> Binding: e-Book
> ISBN10: N/A
> ISBN13: N/A
> ASIN: B005WYQ7SI
> Price: $9.99

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 devices.

Also: Latter-Day Cipher by Latayne C Scott.

Reason # 193: “Doctrines That Are Going Away”

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I am a “lurker” on an Internet message board where LDS historians and others speak about “doctrines that are going away” (their words, not mine.)
Q: How can a DOCTRINE go away? A practice, yes. But a definition of God shouldn’t “go away,” right?

Here’s another quote (which I assume is tongue in cheek, but telling):
“Mormons, we used to be peculiar, but ever since 1995 we have been just as normal as you!”

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 devices.

Reason #192: Romney’s Candidacy Highlights the Role of LDS Secrecy

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‎”That aspects of the religion of a devout president of the United States should be concealed from all but 2 percent of us may be a legitimate question that merits pondering.” Quote from a provocative article in The New York Times:  Everyone is asking this question.
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‎”That aspects of the religion of a devout president of the United States should be concealed from all but 2 percent of us may be a legitimate question that merits pondering.” Quote from this  provocative article in The New York Times.
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What is going on in those secret temple ceremonies?  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 devices.
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