23 November 2014

Dishonestly and Manipulation: Mormonism's Modus Operandi

"Modus operandi (plural modi operandi) is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as 'method of operation'. The term is used to describe someone's habits of working, particularly in the context of business or criminal investigations. In English, it is often shortened to M.O."
With the release of and subsequent media blitz on the LDS Church's new essays, there has been a resurgence of discussion surrounding the validity of the claims the Mormon Church makes within the membership of the church. It has been interesting to see the response. Some, fueled and armed with official Church sources, have found the courage to speak up to friends and family about the loss of belief they have encountered over years past. Others, unprepared to handle the onslaught of accusations, hunker down and buy into the Church's insistence that the new information has always been widely known and accepted by "well-read" "long-term" members of the Church, effectively putting the blame on the membership if they were unaware of the uncomfortable information.

But, by and large, it seems that more people are upset about the dishonesty and manipulation of information than the actual historical facts themselves. I think it is justified considering what the LDS Church has to say about honesty:

“When we speak untruths, we are guilty of lying. We can also intentionally deceive others by a gesture or a look, by silence, or by telling only part of the truth. Whenever we lead people in any way to believe something that is not true, we are not being honest.”

The problem is, with the recent essays, it becomes shockingly clear that the Mormon Church has not been honest with the world.

Joseph has always been depicted with one wife- Emma

 The Book of Abraham was presented as a translation,
which has now been proven false

These are only a few examples- the very tip of the iceberg. But, Mormonism has a long history of lies and deception- starting with Joseph Smith, and it makes one wonder- if the LDS Church and its leadership is what it claims to be, why lie? Why mislead? Why lie to your wife and the church about polygamy if God commanded it? Why destroy the printing press that threatened to reveal your supposedly god-sanctioned polygamy? Why purchase artifacts and documents that threaten to destroy truth claims to hide them away from the public (even though they turned out to be fake). This is the biggest question. It would seem that the Church itself does not believe its own claims that it will "go forth without hands to fill the earth," and "nothing can stop its progression," otherwise, why try so hard to control information? Why revise history? Why deny the past?

These are all valid questions and concerns for members to ask, yet recently, the LDS Church released this in response:

"Some of the hardest questions come when what we believe is challenged by changing cultural fashions or by new information, sometimes misinformation, that critics of the Church confront us with. At such times, it may seem that our doctrinal or historical foundations are not as solid as we thought. We may be tempted to question the truths we’ve taken for granted and the spiritual experiences that have formed our faith. 
What do we do when doubt seeps into our hearts? Are there really answers to those hard questions? 
Yes, there are. In fact, all the answers—all the right answers—depend on the answer to just one question: do I trust God above everyone else?”

So, right there, in very plain text, the church has just stated that questioning and doubting is a temptation and that new information that causes doubt is likely misinformation from critics even though the church itself has finally partially admitted to what the "critics" have been trying to say all along. People should ignore the facts, ignore the evidence, and rely on “feelings” and simply trust “God” (or in this case, the leadership of the church that speaks for God).

Guess what! Those people who crash planes into buildings and strap bombs to themselves also trusted in God above all and ignored reason and doubt. I wonder how people read this and not clearly see how they are being manipulated into blind obedience. It isn’t about whether or not the Church does good in the world or not. It’s about whether or not people feel that their church should be in the business of manipulation. If the Church really is what it claims, why should it need to manipulate and control information? It is very unsettling whenever you give up your capacity to think and reason and question simply to follow a self-proclaimed leader. It is dangerous even.
"Doubt your doubts!” (Uchtdorf)

"Some things that are true aren’t very useful!" (Packer)
Or, as the guys at south park put it:
When you start to get confused because of thoughts in your head,
Don't feel those feelings!
Hold them in instead
Turn it off, like a light switch
just go click!
It's a cool little Mormon trick!
We do it all the time
When your feeling certain feels that just don't feel right
Treat those pesky feelings like a reading light
and turn em off,
Like a light switch just go bap!
Really whats so hard about that?
Turn it off! (Turn it off!)

 Galatians  6:7
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."    

Looks to me like the Mormon church is reaping what it has sown.


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