17 Million Mormons?

Dr. Ryan Cragun has done some excellent research on the decline of religion generally (secularization). He grew up LDS in beautiful Morgan, Utah (up Ogden Canyon), served a mission to Costa Rica in the 1990s, and then left the church in 2004. His latest work turned up the fact that Utah is no longer a majority Mormon state. The LDS church via its media holdings in Utah would like you to believe that 60 percent of the state is still Mormon. They are just not allowed to utter the word "Mormon" for fear of spontaneously combusting, or at the very least going to Hell at some future date (despite the fact the founding scripture of the institution has "Mormon" in the title). Perhaps the church will rename the book, The Book of Nephi, which would be great since it was actually Nephi that appeared to Joseph Smith all those years ago. Cragun's research indicates with a 99.9 percent confidence interval (most studies only use 90-95 percent) that 38-46 percent of the popula

Classroom or Courtroom?

  I have recently been fascinated with NDEs (near death experiences). When I was Mormon I would look for ones that confirmed my myopic belief structure. I rarely found any, owing to the flawed nature of Mormonism (or any religion). Now that I am out of organized religion, I find inspiration in any sincere NDE. By using the Holy Spirit as my guide, I can usually tell who is honest and who is just seeking attention or who is working for the adversary. I am skeptical of any NDE that purports everyone goes to Heaven.  I recently came across Vincent Todd Tolman's NDE on the Shaman Oaks YouTube site. Vincent wrote a book The Light after Death where he recounts his experiences while being clinically dead for over an hour, and then in a coma for three days. He was guided by his deceased grandfather Drake and taught 10 principles everyone must learn before being allowed entrance into Heaven. You can watch his 20 minute video explanation or buy his book, but I will relate his idea that most

The 3 Lamanites?

One thing (out of hundreds) I have learned from Grant Hardy's Oxford Annotated Book of Mormon , is that  the phrase "3 Nephites" is not scriptural. It is another example of our inability as a group of people to actually read and understand what the text states. The BOM describes the 3 New World hand-picked leaders by CHRIST, as the "three disciples". Nowhere does it designate their ethnic background. For all we know these 3 exemplary men were all Lamanites.  It would make sense, since the Lamanites are described in the book as being more righteous immediately prior to JESUS's visit than their brethren the Nephites. Why do we keep calling them the 3 Nephites? Because we like to think of think of the Nephites as the good guys, and the Lamanites as the bad guys. Interesting, when GOD preserved the Lamanites and destroyed the Nephites.  The most CHRIST-like group in the entire text are the people of Ammon, the Anti-Nephi-Lehis. You may recall those people were c

Let Whose Light Shine?

When JESUS visited the more righteous part of the Lamanite-Nephite population (after destroying the murderers and abortion supporters),  he said the following: "Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world."  (3 Nephi 18:24) Was he telling them (and by extension we, the readers) to hold up our own lives as examples of following GOD? Is this a call to show this wicked world what a good person acts like?  I am an abject sinner, so I don't need anyone following my poor example. What about the great Rusty Nelson, the 99 year old know-it-all in SLC? Surely mankind should follow the example of an arrogant surgeon turned false church president.  Not so fast sheeple of the Mormon corridor. JESUS continues in verse 24 with, "Behold, I am the light which ye shall hold up, that which ye have seen me do." There you have it. JESUS is the model for all behavior. Follow no person, follow JESUS. How do we do that? Well very conveniently for us, GOD the Father

Are you priests and pretend to teach these people?

  Many of you will recognize the title of this piece as a partial quote from Abinadi in the Book of Mosiah. This courageous messenger of GOD boldly asks the question to Noah's court. To me, Abinadi is the most courageous person in the entire Book of Mormon, if you exclude JESUS. The concept of pretend priests applied then to king Noah's court, and it applies now in "king" Nelson's court.  Abinadi quotes from Isaiah to the false priests since they apparently (like me) have little to no idea what Isaiah is really saying. Abinadi's real focus is on the Ten Commandments and the fact that "GOD himself" shall come down and save our sinful selves. My belief is that since 1844 the LDS church has broken every one of the 10 commandments. Today I start with commandment number one. 1. Thou shalt have no other GOD before me. (It says gods in the old testament, but GOD, singular in the BOM so I guess Joseph Smith was not just copying the KJV)  The god of Mormonism

4 Members of the Godhead

The Lectures on Faith , the original "doctrine" of the Doctrine and Covenants,  stated there were 2 members of the Godhead, God the Father and Jesus. The 130th  section of the D&C that the Mormons who moved to Utah and tried legalized adultery for awhile posits there are 3 members of the Godhead. I firmly believe that section 130 is not worth the paper it is printed on, but I do come to you this Christmas Eve 2023 with an apparent tie-breaker. Why did Joseph Smith describe seeing only 2 personages during his first vision? Where was the Holy Ghost? My opinion is that God the Father was trying to impress upon this teenager and true prophet to be, that there are only 2 males members of the Godhead. Obviously these 2 male Gods are married. That makes 4 Gods who govern this planet. There is no God named the Holy Ghost. I am aware Joseph gave multiple recitals of his initial vision, and in at least one version, he stated he only saw Jesus. There is no version where he recalls s

Book of Mormon Epiphany

Reading Enos recently I was struck with an idea. Enos talks about his wrestle with GOD before "receiving a remission of his sins." The idea that came to me is that Enos is describing his day long prayer to receive the baptism of fire. Mormon, the book's editor, could have left this very short book out of his collection. He chose not to, probably because he felt it was the perfect example of what the book is trying to get us to do before we die.  Joseph Smith was quoted saying "you may as well baptize a bag of sand" if you do not add the baptism of fire. Modern Mormonism does not have the power or authority to add the most important part of this eternal equation. Only true hand-selected apostles by JESUS (face to face) have this awesome authority. GOD usually reserves this power to Himself. Unless you run into John the Beloved or one the Three Nephites, you are going to have get this gift from GOD.  Grant Hardy in his annotated Book of Mormon from Oxford writes t