Sunday, October 6, 2013

Top Mormon leader acknowledges the church ‘made mistakes’

While I applaud this admission by the Mormon church, it means very little unless it is accompanied by actions.  Less than a month ago, the LDS church excommunicated a writer for the horrible crime of opining that the church's doctrines have changed over the years -- which they unquestionably have. Truth is not a defense in an excommunication proceeding. He was disciplined for putting the church in a bad light, independent of whether his statements were true or false.

From New York Times
One of the top leaders in the Mormon Church acknowledged in an address to the church’s global membership on Saturday that past leaders had “made mistakes” that had caused some Mormons to have doubts, an admission that amounts to a significant change in tone in the leadership’s approach to Mormons who question, dissent or defect from the church.
“We respect those who honestly search for truth,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the church’s top governing body, the first presidency, said in the speech.
The church has in the past excommunicated prominent scholars and even low-profile members who publicly voiced doubts about its history or theology, and many Mormons who have lost their faith have been shunned by their friends and family. But recently, with some Mormons taking to the Internet to share their doubts, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which now claims 15 million members, have been confronted with a bigger problem they could no longer ignore.
“We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of church history — along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable and divine events — there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question,” Mr. Uchtdorf said, speaking to 20,000 Mormons gathered for the 183rd semiannual general conference in Salt Lake City, and millions more watching telecasts and over the Internet. ... 
“To be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine.”
"Mistakes" are a bit of an understatement.  The LDS Church excluded Blacks from full participation until 1978, claiming that their black skin was a sign of disfavor from God.  To this day, racist statements about Blacks and Native Americans are found in Mormon scripture.  Likewise, the LDS Church still teaches that one of its books of scripture, the Book of Abraham, was translated by Joseph Smith from ancient Egyptian scrolls, even those those scrolls have been found and have nothing whatever to do with Smith's purported translation according to Egyptologists.  

Until the LDS Church publicly acknowledges and repudiates specific mistakes, yesterday's statement  is nothing more than an empty gesture aimed at inoculating the faithful against information available on the Internet.


  1. The biggest mistake the early mormon church fathers made was to preach a different gospel than the one that the Apostle Paul preached. Some will think that I'm attacking mormons, but I'm not. A different gospel other than the one Paul preached is a gospel that does not save from judgment.

  2. Mormonism changes doctrine for its convenience. Polygamy, blacks allowed into the priesthood, the Book of Abraham not actually being translated from an Egyptian papyrus of a funerary text. Joseph Smith's and Bringham Young's prophecies that there were Quakers living on the moon were proved false. There was a recent article written in Meridian Magazine, a Mormon publication, stating that Joseph Smith didn't actually refer to the golden plates to write the Book of Mormon (see excerpt and link below). My question is, how long will Mormons allow Mormonism to change the story before they realize they are being lied to?
    "What we can be sure of is that Joseph Smith provided us with a translation of a language he did not know, frequently without referring to the physical text he had."