The God of Spinoza, Einstein

In 1929, a debate swirled around the beliefs of the famous jewish scientist, Albert Einstein. The man’s very name is synonymous today with extreme intelligence. A Rabbi asked Einstein via telegraph, “Do you believe in God? Answer paid 50 words”. Einstein replied, famously: I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony ofRead more

A Carrot on a Stick, Are Religions a Con

Do religions take advantage of the innate human desire to matter, to have purpose and to exist beyond death? Was this nefarious? As all religions are different, it may not be a blanket statement that could be made. It does stand though that we must take the word of leaders who tell us how toRead more

Is there a Purpose?

Must there be a purpose to have a meaningful life? Some of us find purpose and meaning in a faith transition after navigating groundlessness of a faith crisis and stages of grief. Others still debate whether this purpose is objective or subjective to each of us. Can we have different purposes? Is there one universallyRead more

Finding Personal Meaning and Purpose in a Faith Transition

In a faith transition many face feelings of groundlessness akin to crisis level vertigo. They may feel that their life is completely falling apart; that nothing is what it seemed and they struggle to cope with such a huge shift. They face reprocessing every principle, every value and potentially every reason for every thing inRead more

Experiencing Groundlessness in a Faith Transition

Many people have as their main defense of Mormonism is that it gives them purpose and meaning. “The church is good or useful for me so I stay.” Those who find it useful may or may not be all in believers, they might or might not drink deeply of the kool-aid. We each have aRead more

What happened to Mormon.org?

Do you remember the mormon.org website? Members were pestered relentlessly to create a profile online to share their testimony and answer gospel questions. Everyone was encouraged to share their personal url on social media too! Here are some example profiles: Some profiles even backfired and brave disaffected members posted what they actually thought, until theRead more

Some things that are true are not very useful to the Mormon church

There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful. Elder Boyd K Packerhttps://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/teaching-seminary-preservice-readings-religion-370-471-and-475/the-mantle-is-far-far-greater-than-the-intellect?lang=eng#subtitle2 Not everything that’s true is useful. Elder Dallin H Oakshttps://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/elder-oaks-interview-transcript-from-pbs-documentary There have been many statementsRead more

Mormon Binary Thinking and The Great Sham

Gordon B. Hinckley taught the First Vision of Joseph Smith is “the hinge pin on which this whole cause turns. If the First Vision was true, if it actually happened, then the Book of Mormon is true. Then we have the priesthood. Then we have the Church organization and all of the other keys and blessingsRead more

Mormons and the NAACP – Blacks and the Priesthood

The church has made much self-congratulation self-promotion PR regarding their new relationship with the NAACP in the past couple years. They are speaking words of unity and shared vision, which is great, but there is a backstory. The Backstory of Blacks and the church The race relations between the church and blacks is very troubling.Read more

If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed – but leave the church alone won’t you?

In response to those who wonder why mormons who leave the church and then speak out against it and echo the phrase: “You can leave the church, but you can’t leave it alone.” Glenn L. Pace, Follow the Prophet, General Conference, April 1989https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1989/04/follow-the-prophet As mormons, we have been taught to share truth. That desire andRead more

The mormon “shelf” and why it’s a problem

You have almost certainly heard of the “shelf” if you’re mormon. If not, the thought goes that you are studying the gospel when you come upon something that at first doesn’t make sense to you. Rather than use that as evidence that refutes your overall worldview, you just assume there is an answer that youRead more

That information belongs to those who made the Contribution

In an interview President Gordon B Hinckley explains that the reason the church is not open about their finances is because they think “that information belongs to those who made the contribution”. REPORTER: In my country, the…we say the people’s churches, the protestants, the catholics, they publish all their budgets, to all the public. HINCKLEY:Read more

Gain a testimony by pretending to have one

Many testimonies come off like the bearer thinks that “I know” actually means “I really hope” or “I want to know”. When encouraged to bear a testimony to find it, this doublespeak almost makes sense. We gain or strengthen a testimony by bearing it. Someone even suggested that some testimonies are better gained on theRead more

Gordon B. Hinckley Interview Transcript– ZDF German Television

Salt Lake City, Utah January 29, 2002 Conducted by Helmut Nemetschek at 47 East South Temple, Prior To And In Preparation For, The “Mormon Winter Olympics” TRANSCRIPT REPORTER: President Hinckley, what are your expectations, your desires, your wishes, for the Olympic Games here in Salt Lake City? HINCKLEY: Well, I expect great things in theRead more

It gets better

A faith crisis may be hard, but it does get better – like wading past the crashing waves. We struggle with many difficulties navigating a mormon faith crisis. It is quite tumultuous, as the phrase ‘crisis’ implies. We often hear the advice that “it gets better” – which is helpful, but it does take time.Read more

The Tithing … Ellipsis

Punctuation Lesson An ellipsis (…) is used to omit unnecessary detail from a quote. It usually indicates an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning. (It also functions to indicate that the speaker has trailed off and left a sentence or thought unfinished. Like here…Read more

Faith Transition Parallels from Smallfoot the movie

Smallfoot is a story (find the book here) about Migo, a yeti who lives in a “perfect” community. He is very happy and has no issues with anything! He loves it! They have families and leaders and of course laws. The laws are written in stone. They don’t change and they make sense… that is,Read more

Dumbo’s Feather

In the story of Dumbo, we have the little elephant with giant ears (even for an elephant) born into a circus family. His ears are so big that while his name is Jumbo, he earns the nickname Dumbo. His mother is soon imprisoned for standing up for him when he is ridiculed. Maybe she overreactsRead more

Weak Foundations Fear Examination

“If a faith will not bear to be investigated: if its preachers and professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.” George Albert Smith Journal of Discourses, v. 14, p. 216 We are encouraged to examine and investigate everything. Especially our faith & our church. This is in line with whatRead more

Site update

Just two months since launching the website and there are now nearly 30 profiles telling their story! Amazing to give voice to so many and as we each share our story, collectively they are stronger. The site itself has had a lot of new functionality and updates as well, here is a quick list ofRead more

No Objection to Careful and Critical Study – A Search for Truth

To Latter-day Saints there can be no objection to the careful and critical study of the scriptures, ancient or modern, provided only that it be an honest study – a search for truth. John A. Widtsoe, ApostleIn Search of Truth: Comments on the Gospel and Modern Thought(1930) No objection to the careful and critical study?Read more

Is it Wrong to Criticize Leaders?

It’s wrong to criticize leaders of the Church, even if the criticism is true. President Oaks. How can this be twisted to be seen in a good way? Is it wrong to call out errors our leaders make? No. It could be annoying, or even tactless to harp on every minor thing they do thatRead more

Leaders make mistakes

And make no mistake about it: the Lord directs His Church through living prophets and apostles. This is the way He has always done His work. … Too many people think Church leaders and members should be perfect or nearly perfect. They forget that the Lord’s grace is sufficient to accomplish His work through mortals.Read more

The Truth Cannot Be Harmed By Investigation?

If we have truth, [it] cannot be harmed by investigation. If we have not truth, it ought to be harmed. J. Reuben ClarkJ. Reuben Clark: The Church Years. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1983, p. 24 Investigate the church, we invite the world (non-members) to investigate our claims. Those who are learning and consideringRead more

The arch crumbles – Let’s not have any bizarre middle ground

Let me quote a very powerful comment from President Ezra Taft Benson, who said, “The Book of Mormon is the keystone of [our] testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the ChurchRead more

Oaks Thinks Research Is Not The Answer

President Oaks acknowledged that some Latter-Saint couples face conflicts over important values and priorities. Matters of Church history and doctrinal issues have led some spouses to inactivity. Some spouses wonder how to best go about researching and responding to such issues. “I suggest that research is not the answer,” he said. “But the best answerRead more

Church History Whack-a-mole

Come tell your own story. Don’t let other people or the church tell it for you. They have a narrative about you and why you left. By far, the narrative they tell is not the truth. This is the story that is told currently, by an apostle of the church about those who choose toRead more