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Open Letter to Europe Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

http://wp.me/p1mVSY-7N

Posted August 30, 2012 by MormonThinkUK in TRUTH

Apology to Blacks

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Recently a BYU professor, Brother Bott, made an honest statement of beliefs, which most members of long-standing would have mirrored had they been asked to comment on the history & doctrines of the Church with regards to Blacks & the priesthood.

Unfortunately the Church response was less than honest & has disturbed active members & ex-members alike.

As a result a group of active Mormons & ex-Mormons in the UK have prepared a public media statement distancing ourselves from the Church’s dishonest & disingenuous News Statement made recently about the historic position of the Church in relation to Africans & African Americans.

We feel very strongly that an apology from the Church is in order.

If you feel likewise could you help our cause by posting it on your Facebook wall & other social media & Internet sites.

Our goal also includes eventually encouraging Mitt Romney to counter-sign, as we believe this will gain the maximum public inducement for the Church to consider a more honourable treatment of the truth in relation to its own history & the treatment of its current members, of every colour.

If you have any media contacts would you be able to promote it?

As a disclaimer may we point out that our intent is not to offend.

We have changed the wording four times from Negro to Blacks to Africans/African American and back to Blacks because different groups are culturally sensitive to each of the words.

What is offensive in one country or social group is acceptable somewhere else & vice versa.

Even the US Census Bureau included the term Negro on the 2010 census due to public pressure from African Americans who self-identify as Negroes.

There is no one term which will keep everyone concerned happy!

www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/apology

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A PUBLIC APOLOGY

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

So runs the justifiably much celebrated introduction to the Declaration of Independence, which in 1776 marked the birth of the American nation, and a significant step forward in human enlightenment.

In 2012, we the undersigned, as a matter of conscience, make the following formal declaration, independent of the church with which we are or were formerly associated, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or “Mormon Church”), that we in no way subscribe to that church’s historical stance towards our African and African-American brothers and sisters.

We do so because in the 34 years since 1978, when our church, (for political and logistical reasons which are now becoming more apparent), permitted the same rights to all races, there has been no formal apology forthcoming from it to that race; this, despite the fact that Africans and African-Americans have been disparaged by it, frequently in the meanest terms, for over a century. We consider that the time is now long overdue for that regrettable deficiency to be redressed, if not by the institution which created it, then by the individual members, whose tacit support has enabled an injurious silence to prevail.

Specifically, we denounce the teachings of former spokespersons for the church, sustained by us or by our predecessors, as prophets, seers and revelators, which taught that Blacks were:

“uncouth, un-comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290-291, [1859])

“placed under restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits… it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection : Short Discourses on Gospel Themes, 43. [1931])

“not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from…. It is the Lord’s doing.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 527-528, [1966])

And we further denounce deliberate attempts to cover up and misrepresent these facts to the present generation, especially as those misrepresentations relate to the many thousands of African and African-American converts who are currently members of the church. There are recent statements such as:

“I don’t know what the reason was.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, church president, when asked in a Compass interview in 1997 what the reason had been for the pre-1978 inequality).

“It is not known precisely why, how, or when this restriction began but what is clear is that it ended decades ago.” (Formal church response to article on racism, run by The Washington Post, 2012.)

In our view such statements are calculated to misrepresent the historical reality, and are an affront to decency, impugning the reputations of all whose names, even by inference, may be associated with them. We unequivocally denounce this pretended institutional amnesia as politically motivated, and immoral.

We further denounce the racist verses contained in The Book of Abraham, which, despite having been thoroughly discredited by Egyptologists in the 20th Century, remain to this day an integral part of church canon. The verses in question, (Abraham 1:21-24,27), support the teaching that Blacks were cursed, and were always inferior in their rights. We find no value in them, and reject them.

We apologize without reserve as individuals who, having been misled by such misguided teachings, unintentionally gave support to the view that the African race was in some way inferior to others. Lest there be any misunderstanding, we now therefore invoke the spirit of the American Declaration of Independence, and proclaim it to be self-evident that all men, and women, are created to enjoy equal rights and privileges. In so doing, we distance ourselves for all time from the opinions of any who may believe this was ever otherwise, and beg forgiveness for our tardiness in standing up as individuals for this vital truth.

We the undersigned ask you, our African and African-American brothers and sisters, to accept our hand in apology, with your forgiveness and friendship, sharing together in the hope and vision of Dr Martin Luther King, that together “we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our [world] into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood [and sisterhood]. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day”.

To all the foregoing, we freely subscribe our names:

Please add your name to the campaign by going to:

www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/apology

Posted March 5, 2012 by MormonThinkUK in TRUTH

Self-deception

“Self-deception is, by its very nature, the most elusive of mental facts. We do not see what it is that we do not see!

“Self-deception operates both at the level of the individual mind, & in the collective awareness of the group. To belong to a group of any sort, the tacit price of membership is to agree not to notice one’s own feelings of uneasiness & misgiving, & certainly not to question anything that challenges the group’s way of doing things. The price for the group in this arrangement is that dissent, even healthy dissent, is stifled!

“In order to break through the cocoons of silence that keep vital truths from the collective awareness you need courage. It is the courage to seek the truth & to speak it that can save us from the narcotic of self-deception.

“It is a paradox of our time that those with power are too comfortable to notice the pain of those who suffer, & those who suffer have no power.

“To break out of this trap requires the courage to speak truth to power!”

~ Daniel Goleman

He goes on to explain:
“My thesis, in sum, revolves around these premises:
1) The mind can protect itself against anxiety by dimming awareness.
2) This mechanism creates a blind spot: a zone of blocked attention and self-deception.
3) Such blind spots occur at each major level of behavior from the psychological to the social.”

One thing he discusses is how our brain is like a filter. Any information that fits into our preconceived vision of the world is allowed to pass. The rest is subconsciously deleted from our awareness in order to avoid the anxiety of dealing with the dissonance.

In effect we trade truth for security!

Authenticity for perceived happiness!

Posted February 29, 2012 by MormonThinkUK in PSYCHOLOGY OF BELIEF

Sacrament Talk: Compassion For Those Who Leave | Stevebloor’s Blog

http://stevebloor.wordpress.com/sacrament-talk-compassion-for-those-who-leave/

Posted February 25, 2012 by MormonThinkUK in TRUTH

Watch “Why I left Mormonism – A Commitment to Truth” on YouTube

This video does not talk about the individual truth issues.

Hopefully he’ll continue to do more videos.

What it does do well is highlight the motivation & the intention of most members who leave the Church because of discovering the truth.

The Church leadership has always taught its members that there are only 3 reasons people leave the Church: being offended by someone, wanting to sin, or because they are weak.

The message here is that the exact opposite is actually true.

Most people leaving do so because they value truth more than feelings. We are accused of weakness by the Church, when actually it takes an awful lot of courage to face the very frightening possibility that we may have been wrong to believe in something so strongly.

Most members have invested their time, money, even their very hearts & minds to the Church; they have committed their lives to the Church. Who they are as people is all tied up with the Church belief system.

To question the Church means to question one’s very self. To question who you are as a person.

It is the most painful & difficult thing I’ve personally ever done.

But I’ve grown immeasurably as a person through the experience & discovered myself independent of any prescribed belief system.

It has been a wonderful & very rewarding experience as I have come to realise that life is more amazing outside the Church than I ever could have imagined within it.

I have come to realise that the most important thing for me is authenticity, – Living with truth, not feelings.

Posted January 10, 2012 by MormonThinkUK in TRUTH

ESSENTIAL READING: Because Truth Matters!   Leave a comment

Chris Tolworthy’s “The Church is True, The Church is Not True!” ~ http://www.exmormon.org.uk/tol_arch/atozelph/twosides.htm

(This is a great place to start because Chris addreses both sides of the arguments. Chris was a Faithful Branch President & Mormon Apologist when he created “Why Prophets?”, which puts the case in favour of the Church’s truth claims. After Chris had his epiphany he created the “The Church is Not True!”, putting the opposite case!)

Why I left the Mormon Church by Tyler Young: http://bit.ly/whytylerleft

(Tyler Young wrote this amazingly thorough essay detailing the issues which led to his exit from the Church)

John Dehlin’s wonderfully comprehensive presentation on ‘Why People Leave the LDS Church’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQJc5SxnVs&feature=youtube_gdata_player

(It’s a few years old now so doesn’t address the ‘Proposition 8’ issues, which has caused many members to reconsider their faith. Still very thorough & presented by a faithful member with concerns for why members are leaving the Church in ever-increasing numbers)

Great blog http://questioningmormonism.wordpress.com/

Leaving the Mormon Church after many years as a faithful member is difficult: http://www.exmormon.org/whylft36.htm

Lyndon Lamborn and his book ‘Standing for something More’: http://www.mormonthink.com/lyndonlamborn.htm

Richard Packham on Leaving the Mormon Church: http://home.teleport.com/~packham/leaving.htm

Occam’s Razor: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/occamraz.html

Bob McCue on Spirituality: http://www.mccue.cc/bob/spirituality.htm

(Bob is a Canadian lawyer, he is a very clear thinker & writes in great detail, he served faithfully as a Bishop for several years, and served on the Stake Mission Presidency prior to leaving the Church after discovering the truth.)

Bob McCue podcasts: http://www.mccue.cc/bob/audio.htm

Anti-thetical Mask: http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.php/magazine/pmm_article_full_text/the_mormon_mask

Mormon Stories Podcasts: http://mormonstories.org/

The Mormon Curtain: http://www.mormoncurtain.com/start_here.html

Steve Hassan & Freedom of Mind. Cult mind control expert: http://freedomofmind.com/

Mormonthink on Blacks and the Priesthood: http://www.mormonthink.com/blackweb.htm

Mike Bundrant on Recovery from Mormonism (with free downloadable workbook) : http://exmormonrecovery.com/

Mormon Institute Director Resigns from Mormon Church: http://www.exmormon.org/whylft149.htm

Ken Clark, Former Mormon Educator Home Page: http://www.mormonthink.com/kenclark.htm

LDS Honesty, Lying for the Lord: http://www.mormonthink.com/lying.htm

Leaving the Mormon Church: http://www.i4m.com/think/recovery/mormon_home.htm

How to make your post-Mormon journey a happy one by Bob McCue: http://www.i4m.com/think/recovery/mormon-health.htm

Stages of Recovery from Mormonism: http://www.i4m.com/think/recovery/recovery_steps.htm

Does the Mormon Church have a duty to come clean about its origins. (Bob McCue): http://www.i4m.com/think/leaders/come_clean.htm

Grant Palmer interview about Mormon Origins: http://www.i4m.com/think/leaders/grant_palmer_interview.htm

Life After Mormonism: http://www.lifeaftermormonism.net/

How Cults Work: http://www.howcultswork.com/

Native American DNA and it’s implications for the Mormon Church by Simon Southerton: http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.php/magazine/pmm_feature_full_text/native_american_dna/

Ex-Mormon scholars testify – Jim Whitefield: http://www.exmormonscholarstestify.org/jim-whitefield.html

Athiesm & Evolution, by Jim Whitefield: http://themormondelusion.com/page_1232378871640.html

Did Adam live 4000BC by Chris Tolworthy: http://www.exmormon.org.uk/tol_arch/atozelph/adam/adam.htm

Evidence against creation by design: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/jury-rigged.html

Lack of Mormon Doctrine in the Book of Mormon by Ed Bliss: http://www.exmormonscholarstestify.org/ed-bliss.html

Why it’s difficult for members to accept the truth: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=261782525437&topic=14011

Irreducible Complexity and the Evolution of the Eye by Richard Dawkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTP6Pnjb4BI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The Ultimate Boeing 747, by Richard Dawkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRQQmCpmuGc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

“Good Reasons for Believing in God” by Dan Dennet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvJZQwy9dvE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

“The Instruction Manual for Life.” Or considering the proverbial shelf! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAIpRRZvnJg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Very Moving. Apostate, but active members: http://www.nhne.org/news/NewsArticlesArchive/tabid/400/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/6218/language/en-US/Very-Moving-Ex-Mormons-The-Exmormon-Foundation.aspx

Presentation on how Cognitive Bias generates Belief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBXxJJfX3Nk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

“The Purpose of Purpose” by Richard Dawkins: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mT4EWCRfdUg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

BOOKS:

“An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins”, by Grant Palmer.
(An excellent, objectively written, thorough, no holds barred look at Mormon Origins by an active member of the Church.)

“No Man Knows My History”, by Fawn Brodie

“Standing for Something More”, by Lyndon Lamborn
(Detailed examination of his own faith & the doctrines of Mormonism, with a good introduction to the psychology of belief & Mormon mind control)

“In Sacred Loneliness”, by Todd Compton.
(In depth disclosure of the awful lives of the wives of Joseph Smith.)

“Wife number 19, or the Story of Eliza Ann Young.”
(Very disturbing account of polygamy by one of Brigham Young’s wives)

“Rough Stone Rolling”, Richard Bushman.
(Mormon historian & active Church member)

“The Mormon Delusion – Volumes 1-4”, Jim Whitefield.
(Extremely detailed analysis of Mormonism from early polygamy through to an examination of Church doctrine to a fresh look at the missionary discussions in ‘Preach My Gospel, and a detailed examination of the ‘First Vision’ including details the Church fails to tell you!)

……..More

Posted December 26, 2011 by MormonThinkUK in LINKS

Truth   Leave a comment

Truth doesn’t care how we feel about it!

Truth just is!

Truth cannot alter to match our desires, preferences or prejudices, it is us who need to change to match the truth!

Posted December 23, 2011 by MormonThinkUK in TRUTH