Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A follow-up post about TRUTH (Part 2)

The “modern” view on the relevance of truth is much different.

"My duty as a member of the Council of the Twelve is to protect what is most unique about the LDS church, namely the authority of priesthood, testimony regarding the restoration of the gospel, and the divine mission of the Savior. Everything may be sacrificed in order to maintain the integrity of those essential facts. Thus, if Mormon Enigma reveals information that is detrimental to the reputation of Joseph Smith, then it is necessary to try to limit its influence and that of its authors."
- Apostle Dallin Oaks Inside the Mind of Joseph Smith: Psychobiography and the Book of Mormon, Introduction

So, what you are saying is that if anyone brings up issues with Joseph Smith it is ok to discredit them even if what they say is true? To what extent will they go to protect the image of Joseph Smith?

"Indeed, in some instances, the merciful companion to truth is silence. Some truths are best left unsaid."

"Any who are tempted to rake through the annals of history, to use truth unrighteously, or to dig up “facts” with the intent to defame or destroy, should hearken to this warning of scripture:

“The righteousness of God [is] revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Rom. 1:17-18.)

"I repeat: 'The wrath of God is … against all … who hold the truth in unrighteousness.'"

To anyone who, because of truth, may be tempted to become a dissenter against the Lord and his anointed, weigh carefully your action
Russell M. Nelson, “Truth—and More,” Ensign, Jan. 1986, page 69

Let me get this straight. If something is true, but talking about it will hurt the church, it is best left unsaid? And even if someone finds the truth, if they give it to others or use it to point out something wrong with doctrine, they are using it unrighteously? I don’t see how using truth to uncover manipulation and lies is a bad thing.

"It is one thing to depreciate a person who exercises corporate power or even government power. It is quite another thing to criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true."
" As Elder George F. Richards, President of the Council of the Twelve, said in a conference address in April 1947, 'when we say anything bad about the leaders of the Church, whether true or false, we tend to impair their influence and their usefulness and are thus working against the Lord and his cause.
Dallin H. Oaks, "Reading Church History," CES Doctrine and Covenants Symposium, Brigham Young University, 16 Aug. 1985

What if you don’t believe that person was really called of God? Is it ok to criticize then? According to these quotes, it’s not ok, even if what is said is true about that person. Perhaps that is how they got away with so many atrocities back in those days and how they change doctrine of the church today without the slightest flinch from the church membership.

“Church history can be so interesting and so inspiring as to be a very powerful tool indeed for building faith. If not properly written or properly taught, it may be a faith destroyer.

“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.”
Boyd K. Packer, "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect", 1981

How do we know which truth is useful? Which events, teachings and facts are to be taught and which are to be ignored? Should they just say that Joseph Smith had many wives or should they mention that a couple of those wives were only 14 years old when he married them? Is that a faith building part of history or a faith destroyer? I think that it is truth regardless of how it affects one’s testimony and it should be left to each individual to come to their own conclusion.

"We are instructed to be like children, who are willing to be taught and then to act without first demanding full knowledge."
"Let us believe all things. Let us have unquestioning faith in all of the doctrines and truths of the restored gospel."
Elder Robert Oaks, "Believe All Things," Ensign, July 2005, page 30

Corinthians 13:11
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

Children are naive, gullible, innocent and are trusting enough to believe anything they are told. They are not capable of discerning between make believe and reality. If they were, Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny would be out of jobs. Most children are upset and confused when they find out the truth about Santa, just like I was when I found out the truth about Mormonism.

I am not a child, I am an adult. Many experiences have given me the ability and maturity to think for myself and form my own opinions. The age of innocents is behind me and I have no desire to go back. I no longer believe in “Joseph Clause”. I have seen what living life in the Mormon fantasy land does to a person, and it is no way to live. Life is much better in the fresh air of reality and truth.

"Truth surely exists as an absolute, but our use of truth should be disciplined by other values. ... When truth is constrained by other virtues, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a season. As the scriptures say, there is “a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”

"Public debate—the means of resolving differences in a democratic government—is not appropriate in our Church government. We are all subject to the authority of the called and sustained servants of the Lord. They and we are all governed by the direction of the Spirit of the Lord, and that Spirit only functions in an atmosphere of unity. That is why personal differences about Church doctrine or procedure need to be worked out privately."
- Apostle Dallin H. Oaks, “Criticism,” Ensign, Feb. 1987

Privately, I don’t think so! The church has excommunicated many people because they were unwilling to keep their issues with doctrine to themselves. Why should I go along with their censorship of truth? I am no longer subject to their rules and I will not keep silent. When I started this journey, I had no intention of speaking out against the church but the more I see, the harder it gets to bite my tongue. I can not stand by and watch while others are deceived. If that makes me an “Anti-Mormon” then so be it.

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