Monday, August 22, 2011

WHITE-WASHING OF MORMON HISTORY


I just found an interesting website called Mormon History at this link - http://www.historyofmormonism.com/.  On this website, it says its purpose is this:
This Mormon history website aims to share that history with the world, so that their stories of faith in God, dedication to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to one another can inspire others. This Mormon history site includes a detailed history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormon Church is properly known, from its founding by the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830 up to the current time. Biographies of important Mormon leaders and prominent members will show the human side of Mormon history and the ways in which the Lord works among people today to spread the good news of the Gospel to the whole world. Other articles will help those who are new to the history of Mormonism in understanding the teachings and practices of the Mormon Church.
We invite you to read the Mormon history stories of the faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to ponder the faith and belief which inspired them to give up everything they had to follow God, even at the risk of losing their own lives. We invite to read their stories and draw inspiration from their courage and dedication in building up the Kingdom of God here on earth.
At the bottom of the first page, this website contains this disclaimer:  "This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the More Good Foundation.  For the official Church websites, please visit LDS.org or Mormon.org."

So what is More Good Foundation?  Well, in clicking into that link, I found this information: 
The More Good Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps Mormons share their beliefs on the Internet so interested people can learn more about Mormonism. It was created in 2005 by David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways, and James Engebretsen, Associate Dean of the BYU Marriott School, as a solution to the overwhelming need for increased positive and accurate information about the LDS faith on the Internet. It is operated by a small team of employees and many volunteers.
Interesting - holding this website out as "a solution for the overwhelming need for increased positive and accurate information about the LDS faith on the Internet."  Unfortunately, though, this website is not accurate in that it contains bits of truth mixed with obvious errors and omissions.  For instance, this website says the following about the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor (which led to his incarceration in Carthage Jail where he was killed on June 27, 1844):  "On June 7, 1844, William Law, a disaffected Mormon, published the first and only edition of the Nauvoo Expositor. It was a scandalous paper that called for Joseph Smith to be hung. It described in lurid prose all the evil things Joseph and other leaders were supposedly doing."  But that is not an accurate description of what really happened at all.  White-washed, to say the least.  The reason that Joseph Smith ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor (and the burning of the building in which it was housed) was because an article printed in the Nauvoo Expositor exposed the truth behind his practice of Polygamy/Plural Marriage, as well as other inappropriate behavior.  At that point in time, Joseph Smith's practice of Polygamy (and Polyandry) was not publicly known, and that's the way he wanted it.  In fact, just 2 weeks before this article was published in the Nauvoo Expositor, Joseph Smith made this statement at a Sunday meeting in Nauvoo:

"...What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers." (History of the Church, vol 6, p. 411Joseph Smith made this statement preaching from the stand to the Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo on Sunday May 26, 1844.  At the time he had secretly taken at 33 plural wives.
So when William Law and the Nauvoo Expositor wrote a story in its newspaper exposing the truth behind all of this, Joseph Smith was outraged, thinking, I'm sure, how dare they print this!!  From some accounts that I have read, Joseph Smith apparently was a hot-head.  And of course, his hot-headed reaction in ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor is what landed him in jail where he was killed by a mob on June 27, 1844.


http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/nauvooexpositor.htm


At the above link is a complete reprint of what was contained in the Nauvoo Expositor.  I have read this several times, but what the Mormon History website says about the Nauvoo Expositor does not seem to be true in the least.  Again, I quote:  "On June 7, 1844, William Law, a disaffected Mormon, published the first and only edition of the Nauvoo Expositor. It was a scandalous paper that called for Joseph Smith to be hung. It described in lurid prose all the evil things Joseph and other leaders were supposedly doing."   Not only is this an inaccurate statement as far as its incompleteness is concerned, but I did not find one thing in it that says anything even remotely close to calling for Joseph Smith to be hung.  So as far as I can tell, this statement is a downright fabrication apparently stated to exaggerate what was said in an attempt to condone the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.

What the article in the Nauvoo Expositor accused Joseph Smith of was:  (1) fornication and adultery; (2) unrighteous dominion over the City of Nauvoo since he was not only the President of the Mormon Church but also the Mayor of the town of Nauvoo, and they felt he had too much power; (3) hostile spirit and conduct against the government and citizens of the state of Missouri (in that he was fighting extradition back to Missouri after escaping from jail prior to fleeing to Iowa and then Illinois); (4) attempt at political power and influence by declaring his campaign for President of the United States, which they felt was preposterous, absurd, inconsistent, and not in accordance with Christian religion; (5) Joseph's preaching of the doctrine of many Gods, which they felt was false doctrine and blaphemous; (6) the excommunications of several members of the Church at Council's of which they were unaware, which they felt was not proper since these persons were not present to answer the charges against them; (7) the religious influence exercised in the church's financial concerns by Joseph Smith; (8) breach of fiduciary duty in the handling of the finances of the Mormon Church, including the misappropriation of funds relative to properties, making Joseph Smith a very wealthy man to the detriment of the general membership of the Church; etc.

Interestingly, these men say in this publication of the Nauvoo Expositor, as follows:
"We are earnestly seeking to explode the vicious principles of Joseph Smith, and those who practice the same abominations and whoredoms; which we verily know are not accordant and consonant with the principles of Jesus Christ and the Apostles; and for that purpose, and with that end in view, with an eye single to the glory of God, we have dared to gird on the armor, and with God at our head, we most solemnly and sincerely declare that the sword of truth shall not depart from the thigh, nor the buckler from the arm, until we can enjoy those glorious privileges which nature's God and our country's laws have guarantied to us-freedom of speech, the liberty of the press, and the right to worship God as seemeth us good.-We are aware, however, that we are hazarding every earthly blessing, particularly property, and probably life itself, in striking this blow at tyranny and oppression: yet notwithstanding we most solemnly declare that no man, or set of men combined, shall, with impunity, violate obligations as sacred as many which have been violated unless reason, justice and virtue have become ashamed and sought the haunts of the grave, though our lives be the forfeiture."
They go on to say:

"Many of us have sought a reformation in the church, without a public exposition of the enormities of crimes practiced by its leaders, thinking that if they would hearden to counsel, and shew fruit meet for repentance, it would be as acceptable with God, as though they were exposed to public gaze,

"For the private path, the secret acts of men,
If noble, for the noblest of their lives."

but our petitions were treated with contempt; and in many cases the petitioner spurned from their presence and particularly by Joseph, who would state that if he had sinned, and was guilty of the charges we would charge him with, he would not make acknowledgment, but would rather be damned; for it would detract from his dignity, and would consequently ruin and prove the overthrow of the Church.  We would ask him on the other hand, if the overthrow of the Church was not inevitable, to which he often replied, that we would all go to Hell together, and convert it into a heaven, by casting the Devil out; and says lie, Hell is by not means the place this world of fools suppose it to be, but on the contrary, it is quite an agreeable place: to which we would now reply, he can enjoy it he is determined not to desist from his evil ways; but as for us, and ours, we will serve the Lord our God!"
Discovering all of this about the publication of the Nauvoo Expositor as well as the actual truth about Joseph Smith's death was a real eye-opener for me, especially because I grew up being told that he died as a martyr due to religious persecution.  That is the Mormon Party Line, and they talk about it a lot via lessons in Primary, Sunday School, Seminar, etc.; talks in Sacrament Meeting; the singing of hymns like Praise to the Man; etc.  But although that is the Mormon Party Line, the characterization of Joseph Smith as a religious martyr is the farthest thing from the truth.  Joseph Smith was arrested and placed in jail because he ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor (and the burning of the building in which it was housed).  Saying that he was unjustly accused doesn't make it so.  Although people are supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, with the evidence that was stacked up against him, there is little doubt but that he was guilty.  And along with all of his other illegal activities (as discussed in length in my post entitled "Rough Stone Rolling?  Really!?!"), he was, in my opinion, most definitely a criminal.  White-washing the whole thing to characterize him as an "innocent man" is ridiculous, as was his statement when he was being taken to jail:  "I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summer’s morning; I have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall be said of me—He was murdered in cold blood."

So much of what is portrayed as Mormon History is white-washed to make it seem more virtuous and less shocking.  Leaving out key pieces of information that muddy the waters seems to be a major ploy used in "prettying" things up. 


http://www.i4m.com/think/history/carthage-jail-smith.htm


Naturally, I was shocked when I discovered that Joseph Smith had a gun with him when he was in Carthage Jail, and that he used it to shoot 3 men, killing 2 of them.  That gun was given to him by Cyrus H. Wheelock when he went to visit Joseph Smith and the others in Carthage Jail.  That is something that is glossed over entirely by the Mormon Church.  Instead, they try to go with the "innocent man" routine, and that Joseph Smith was a "religious martyr."  The fact that he had a gun and used it to shoot 3 men, killing 2 of them, seems to debunk that theory.

Another one of those areas that they try to pretend doesn't matter is the fact that there are at least 9 versions of the First Vision.  The "official version" held out by the Mormon Church today wasn't even written until 1838 (18 years after the fact) and at a time when many people were leaving the church because of the excommunications of various individuals including Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer brothers, is an example of molding the facts to fit their purposes - and the obvious philosophy of the end justifies the means.  Attempting to hide the actual origins of Polygamy as well as the practice of Polyandry (women being married to more than one living husband) is another example of this tendency toward white-washing.  I could go on and on, but since the truth is very obvious if actually examined, I won't go into every detail here.

Thankfully, though, there are a lot of other websites out there that tell the truth behind all the lies and deception perpetuated by the Mormon Church.  And the truth is out there to find via Google, which will aid in leading people to the truth if they are open to discovering it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

YOUR HAPPILY EVER AFTER - REALLY!?!

Just looking at the cover of this book makes me want to strangle Dieter Dear and every other Mormon leader out there who spouts this type of rhetoric.  Apparently this book started off as a talk that Dieter Dear gave at a General Young Women Meeting in March 2010.  I guess it wasn't enough that he spouted all this there but had to put it in a book to cause harm to young women everywhere.  Comparing girls and women to fairy-tale characters?  REALLY!?!

And encouraging young women to reflect on the experience of fairy tale princesses for guidance on how to find happiness in their own lives?  How twisted is that?

There are so many things wrong with this type of philosophy.

First, it creates an atmosphere where girls, young women, and mature women are always looking for true love's kisses and happily ever afters - and the fact is that what they are looking for may never come.  This book says that "The Gospel is the Way to Happily Ever After."  But simply living Mormonism isn't going to guarantee that Happily Ever After, particularly since it is a bogus religion filled with lies (and was obviously a hoax from the very beginning).

Second, the impossible expectations that this mindset creates only guarantees heartache and likely depression.  I have felt that kind of heartache and depression in my life.  I had a lot of unrealized expectations that made me feel "less than" that were probably caused by this very philosophy.  Expecting certain things because I was living a life that I was told was the "right way" was obviously naive, but it was also to be expected considering what I had been raised to believe.

Third, there are acceptable struggles and trials that everyone goes through.  But there are other situations that occur that are not acceptable, such as abuse.  By telling girls, young women and mature women that trials and struggles are necessary before reaching the goal of "happily ever after" causes many of them to think that unacceptable situations are okay because they will lead to the ultimate goal.  And that is simply wrong.  I went through that type of situation as well, and I stayed in an abusive marriage for way too long because I kept thinking that this was my trial.  If I hung in there and tried to be the very best woman I could be then the abuse would stop and my "happily ever after" would begin.  What amazed me is that when I told my Bishop about what was happening, he essentially said just that.  And a very good friend of mine who was LDS told me that I needed to be more submissive, that perhaps I was causing the abuse myself.  Naturally, I was shocked that she said this, and I told her that regardless of the circumstances, he had no right to hit me or call me horrible names.  Abuse is never okay.  Period.

Fourth, lumping every girl, young woman and mature woman into one group is very harmful.  What about individuality?  What about personality?  What about being the master of your own fate?  So many lives have been harmed because of people being told that they should be a certain way when they clearly are not.  People should be encouraged to be who they are, not told that who they are is not good enough and that they should strive to be a certain way.  Fit the mold or be damned.

Just look at what this link at the Deseret Book website says about this book:

Sometimes we need a reminder that life was never all sunshine and roses for fairy-tale princesses. Before the true love's kisses and happily ever afters, there came once upon a times of poisoned apples, spindle pricks, and impossible tasks.

Speaking to the princesses of our Heavenly King, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf compares their challenges to those faced by famous fairy-tale heroines. Recounting Belle's captivity, Cinderella's servitude, and the sacrifices of the miller's daughter, President Uchtdorf emphasizes that each princess had to overcome adversity before she reached her happily ever after.

Your Happily Ever After is an inspiring and uplifting message that will encourage latter-day princesses to focus on God's plan, to find happiness in service, and to embrace the blessings of the gospel.

Contents
Introduction
Chapter One - Trial Is Part of the Journey
Chapter Two - Stay True to What You Know Is Right
Chapter Three - The Gospel Is the Way to Happily Ever After

Of course, this type of philosophy is not only limited to the female gender.  From very early ages, boys are told that they are supposed to be the Prince Charming for some lucky girl out there.  A white knight in shining armor.  The Priesthood Leader of their home.  The breadwinner for their future family.  And on and on.  Talk about pressure.  Of course, that pressure is multipled by 1,000 if that boy is really gay, and is told that acting on being gay is a sin that should be repressed.  The Mormon Church has caused many gays to commit suicide with that type of glossing over (and condemnation) of their actual traits and sexual identify. 

Human beings are NOT "one size fits all."  People are very different, one from the other.  They vary in their likes and dislikes, their talents and abilities, the way in which they react in various situations, etc.  If human beings were all robots it would be one thing, but they are not.  They are individuals, and as such, they should not be told what they should do, how they should think, or what they should believe.  Those things they should decide for themselves without a lot of guilt being applied to get them to CONFORM.  Truly, what ever happened to FREE AGENCY?

Years ago in 1978 when I was 27 years old, I wrote the below poem about this very subject - the fairy tales on which children are raised and the harm they cause.  
NOBODY TOLD ME
Nobody told me that life would be hard,
That once in a while I'd be dealt a bad card.
I wasn't told that so much is at stake,
That sometimes love dies and that my heart could break.
I honestly thought that my dreams would come true,
That life would be great, and I'd never be blue…
But life's not that way, and love doesn't stay,
And you don't get your way… in the end,
So when you are told about streets paved with gold,
Don't get too sold… on those lies.
All through my childhood, I heard fairy tales,
A world filled with hope in which nobody fails.
I always believed that the stories were real,
Cause no one would lie, they would know how I'd feel.
That sleep would bring dreams that would last until day,
When Prince Charming would come, and whisk me away…
To magical lands where life would be grand,
And we'd walk hand in hand… throughout time…
But the times that you cry will show it's a lie,
And as much as you try… it won't change…
I grew up believing that love conquers all,
But later discovered that's not true at all.
For there are some things that will never be right,
That can't be resolved though you try as you might.
And banging your head on a wall you can't see
Will just drive you crazy… eventually…
So cut all the strings, the pain that it brings,
And stop spinning your wheels… round and round.
Cause life's not a game in which no one's to blame,
No, it's just not the same… as they said…
So what can you do when the going gets tough?
When life isn't easy and things become rough?
When everything seems like it's going to crash,
And you're feeling dizzy from constant backlash
From each obstacle being thrown in your way,
And you're ready to throw in the towel in dismay…
Just know who you are, your own shining star,
And you will go far, being YOU.
Cause if you do that, then you'll know where you're at,
And you'll never fall flat… on your face.
© Diane Tingen, 1978
Being YOU... who YOU really are... and living an authentic life.

These are the keys to happiness - and to a real Happily Ever After.

Yesterday, I had posted a link to this book description in a Facebook group, and several people posted comments.  Later, one of the people posted a link to an excellent blog entry he had written about this topic entitled Et Tu, Dieter?, in which he explains his loss of respect for Dieter Uchtdorf for going down this road.  My favorite line from the blog entry is this:  "Now, Deseret Book is publishing Uchtdorf's misogyny-wrapped-in-a-poofy-prom-dress-and-toppe​d-with-a-tiara talk as a book, also titled Your Happily Ever After. By publishing this book, Uchtdorf is essentially chiseling it into stone and the church is endorsing it as the "proper" way for women in the church to live their lives. He and the church are setting women and men (and entire families) up for disappointment, misery and lifelong guilt if their devotion to the church doesn't have the perfect (and impossible) fairy tale ending. It's a disgusting example of inoculating devout members against "the world" (i.e., REALITY)."

Pages from YOUR HAPPILY EVER AFTER...



Monday, August 15, 2011

WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS

1.  MORMONISM.  Obviously.
I mean, just read this blog...

2.  LIES.  Being lied to really irritates me.  And what's worse than being lied to is finding out you've been lied to and deceived.  That really grinds my gears!!  Of course, this "pet peeve" is directly correlated to #1 above.

3.  IGNORANCE.  The definition of the word "Ignorance" is lack of knowledge, information or education.  The context in which I am using it is to mean people who lack knowledge or information and yet parrot a position just because they have been told that they should feel a certain way.  People have brains for a reason.  So I really wish they would think for themselves and make up their own minds - and then have the guts to speak up.  And when a position that a person has taken has been shown to be ridiculous, they should have the good sense to admit that they were wrong.  Of course, admitting that a person doesn't know something from the get-go is a good position to take and shows some character.  But unfortunately, ignorant people tend to stick to their guns, no matter what.  Not a good position to take.  And of course, IGNORANCE seems to plague many members of the Mormon Church.  (Another direct correlation to #1 above.)

4.  NARROW-MINDEDNESS.  People who dismiss everything that they don't understand or have been told is WRONG usually do so because they are NARROW-MINDED.  Of course, this characteristic usually goes along with IGNORANCE.  People really should make up their own minds - and they shouldn't adopt an attitude simply because their religion tells them to believe a certain way.  Dismissing entire groups of people because they don't dress "appropriately," are a different race, are gay or lesbian, or whatever, is very petty.  Unfortunately, I think religion does this to a lot of people when it should be teaching people to be tolerant of each other and understanding of other people's differences.  And again, NARROW-MINDEDNESS seems to run rampant with a lot of people who are embroiled in Mormonism.  Yet another direct correlation to #1 above.

5.  JUDGMENTAL PEOPLE.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of JUDGMENTAL people in the world.  And a lot of them are Christian (and Mormon), which is surprising since in the Biblical scriptures they rely on it specifically says to Judge Not, that ye be not judged (Matthew 7:1-5).   That scripture (and directive) seems rather straightforward, so I don't understand why it seems to be lost on a lot of people.  But sadly, so many Christians and Mormons seem to go around passing judgment on everyone and everything.  Yes, another correlation to #1 above.

AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE ARE THINGS BESIDES MORMONISM (and related topics) THAT REALLY GRIND MY GEARS... such as...

6.  NEGATIVITY.  People who are always pessimistic are a real downer, and I have a real hard time being around people like that.  Doomsayers.  Nitpickers.  Energy Vampires, sucking the life out of everything.  Always complaining.  Always putting other people down.  Always sure that something horrible is going to happen.  Seemingly never able to just enjoy life and go with the flow.  I was married to a man like that... and that's one of the reasons why he's now my ex-husband...

7.  RUDENESS and INCONSIDERATION.  Some people only think about themselves and seem to have little regard for others in the world - and they also seem to have no concept of the effect of things they do or say on other people.  Of course, those types of attitudes also apply to public transportation.  Lately, since I began taking the train to work, these types of attitudes have really hit me when people take up an entire seat, and when asked to move their stuff (and body) so someone else can sit down, they get all huffy (which has happened to me more than once or twice).  I asked a woman to move over this morning, and you would have thought I was asking her for a kidney!!  She reluctantly moved but left her rather lage purse in the middle of the seat, so that when I sat down, I was hanging off the seat.  So I asked her to move her purse, and again, she got all huffy, said "Well, excuse me" rather loudly, and then got up and moved.  Is it too much to ask that people take one seat on a bus or train?  And not to pile the other half of the seat high with their paraphernalia?  I mean, unless they've bought two seats, they shouldn't be taking up two seats, particularly when there are people standing.  And when I said something to that effect, a lady across the aisle from me butted me and said, "Well, there are still a lot of empty seats."  OK, there were empty seats - but most of them were the backwards seat, and I can't sit in those because of my vertigo problems.  So that left the forward seats, all of which were occupied by at least one person.  But why should I have to explain that?  And why did this women have to butt in a situation that didn't involve her in the first place?  Some people need to learn the concept of minding their own business - not speaking unless (and until) they are spoken to.

8.  LACK OF SAYING "THANK YOU."  It really irritates me when I hold a door open for someone, and they just breeze right through without saying thank you.  Or when I let another car in a long line of cars and the gesture is not recognized (with a nod of a head or the wave of a hand... or something).  Or I hold the elevator door for someone who is coming, and they get on the elevator without saying a word.  It's as if the person feels entitled to nice gestures from the people around them, but they don't have to acknowledge it.  Of course, on the other hand, perhaps I shouldn't feel like I need a "thank you" and should just do random acts of kindmess without expecting anything in return.  Guess I'm not that big of a person.  Perhaps something I should work on...

9.  CELL PHONES ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.   I mean, really... do they think we want to hear their entire conversation?  their lengthy gabber??  their loud laughter???  Particularly when the conversation is obviously very private.  I would never have the gall to carry on a very long, very loud conversation (or a private one) on a bus or a train, but some people don't seem to think anything of it.  How unbelievably rude.

10.  PEOPLE WHO TAKE UP TWO PARKING SPACES.  Or park very crooked... I mean, were they on drugs when they parked their car?  Or when people park their cars so far over the line that when you arrive to get your car, you can't get in the driver's side and have to crawl through the passengers side.  Wow, that's irritating!!

11.  TAILGATING.  Drivers who tailgate cars at excessive speeds, which is a problem everywhere but was a huge problem when I was living in Georgia.  Seriously, Atlanta has the worse traffic of anywhere I have lived (and I lived in Los Angeles for 30 years).  The drivers in Georgia are absolutely maniacs, and they tailgate like nobody's business.  Traffic is better out here in Colorado... not perfect, but much better.

12.  BEING A PEDESTRIAN.  Not that I don't like to walk - I do.  But I hate it when I'm out walking, and approaching me is a group of 3 or 4 people walking in my direction, taking up the entire sidewalk and not moving over when they see me coming.  Or people walking on the wrong side of the sidewalk, making me have to bob and weave my way through them.  Rules of the road apply to sidewalks as well.  People are supposed to walk on the right side of a sidewalk, just like a car.  And they aren't supposed to take up the entire sidewalk (just as they wouldn't take up the entire freeway).  Somebody needs to clue in a lot of people.  Of course, being a pedestrian who wants to cross an interesection can be a tricky proposition as well.  In Atlanta, there were many situations where I practically got run-down while crossing a street.  And there were several times when people actually honked their horns at me and then began yelling for me to "hurry up."  Very frustrating, especially since it wasn't like I was crossing at a snail's speed.  Being a pedestrian in Atlanta is basically taking your life in your hands.  Being a pedestrian in in Denver is better - not perfect, but much better.  But overall, the world is in too much of a hurry these days (especially in the South - and Southern Hospitality is all but dead at this point).

13.  BICYCLES IN DOWNTOWN DENVER.  I think it's great that so many people ride bicycles in downtown Denver.  They're healthy and in shape, which is great.  BUT... most of them think they can ride their bicycles however and wherever they want.  They think no rules apply to them whatsoever.  They ride their bikes through interesections with pedestrians... with cars... against red lights... against traffic... with cars coming... with trains coming... very dangerous (and annoying).  I really wish they would decide in what category they want to be and stick with it - and not think that all categories apply to them across the board.

14.  APOSTROPHE ABUSE.  I'm not the Puncutation Police or the Grammar Nazi (or the Spelling Czar), but really, some people need to get a clue.  Look at this website and then tell me I'm wrong.  Here's a preview...





Of course, this example is rife with grammar and punctuation problems - and it should read, "Pumps are not taking Debit Cards.  Please fill up gas and pay inside with your Debit Card or use as Credit at pump.  Thank you.  Sorry for inconvenience."

The other common error in punctuation and/or grammar that really grinds my gears is the misuse of IT'S and ITS.  As explained on the Better at English website at this link, it's (with an apostrophe) means it is or it has (as in "It's very hot outside" or "It's been raining for hours now").  On the other hand, Its (without an apostrophe) is the possessive form of the pronoun it, which is used when talking about something belonging to an IT (as in "Colorado is known for its great skiing").  I guess being a legal secretary for over 35 years has made me very conscious of proper grammar and punctuation.  The upside is that it has made me a good proofreader.  The downside is that seeing misusages like this really grind my gears.

15.  TV COMMERCIALS.  I like watching TV, but when commercials come on, most of them really irritate me.  First of all, they are usually way too loud and practically blast me out of my seat.  And a lot of them are completely inane.  I mean, REALLY... some of the advertisers must think that they are playing to a group of 5 year olds, not grown adults who have the power to make or break them based on whether they are able to sell their product to them.  Of course, there are some good TV commercials, especially around Super Bowl time.  But regardless of how good or bad the commercials are, they tend to overplay them to the point where I want to scream.  And that really grinds my gears!!

16.  TV SHOWS.  There are a lot of ridiculous TV shows as well.  Particularly in the situation comedy category.  Right now, they are in the process of advertising the new Fall TV Schedule, and it amazes me just how many ridiculous shows are coming on next month.  The quality of TV shows just never seems to improve from year to year.  Of course, here are some good shows on TV (even in the situation comedy category), but they are far and few between.  Sometimes I think it's better to just watch reruns - like Seinfeld, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City, MASH, and so on.  Perhaps there should be a moratorium on new TV shows, and they should be required to just play reruns of good old TV shows... on which the public votes... 

17.  MOVIE SEQUELS - AND REMAKES.  Truly, I think there should be a law that before a sequel to a movie can be made, the public should vote on it - and that law should apply to remakes as well.  I mean, did Rocky really need so many sequels?  Or Rambo?  Or Dumb and Dumber... I mean, really? - Dumb and Dumberer?  And did Conan the Barbarian really need a remake?  I mean, they already made a sequel, Conan the Destroyer, and now they thought it was a good idea to remake the movie entirely?  Plus did there really need to be so many Planet of the Apes movies?  Did Ocean's Eleven really need a remake and a sequel?  And I just heard that they're going to do a remake of Dirty Dancing.  Of course, they already did a sequel of Dirty Dancing called Havana Nights, which bombed - so what would possess them to do a remake of the original iconic movie?  I guess Hollywood is running out of ideas, so they keep recycling old movie plots.  Talk about beating a dead horse.  Of course, this rule should also apply to "prequels" (and yes, I'm talking about Star Wars... the first 3 movies were great, but then they do 3 more as "prequels"???  Not a good move).  Seriously, there ought to be a law...

18.  VAMPIRE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS.  Enough already.  Seriously.  Please stop it.

Of course, I could go on, but instead, I'll refer you to what is termed as the Web's Largest List of Pet Peeves.  Very long list, and some good (and very funny) stuff.

Based on the foregoing, I guess it would probably be a good idea for me to just lock myself in a room somewhere and not go outside.  Then I wouldn't have to deal with all the idiots in the world.  But then, I wouldn't be able to rant either... at least, about all this stuff... 

By now, you may have figured out that the above picture (What Really Grinds my Gears) is from Family Guy.  Or perhaps not, if you've never watched this extremely funny (and rather irreverent) cartoon series.  During one segment, Peter Griffin began doing a news feature about What Really Grinds My Gears, and naturally, he dissolved into rants about ridiculous subjects.  Absurd, but funny...

But then, Peter Griffin is Peter Griffin, and ranting about absurdities and ridiculous subjects is just what Peter does (and it's very funny in this context).  But Peter Griffin is a cartoon character, and Family Guy is a TV show/cartoon series - not reality.  One would think that modern society could rise above this type of behavior... unfortunately, though, that's not always the case...

http://www.fox.com/familyguy/


Friday, August 12, 2011

Rough Stone Rolling? REALLY!?!

Saturday Night Live.  Over the years, this has been one of my favorite shows.  Of course, there have been good years and bad years (with the very best being the beginnings of the show in the 1970's, and then for a while in the late 80's to mid-90's, and the current version is less than stellar a great deal of the time, but one segment that stands out (at least for me) is Really!?! with Seth and Amy (or with Seth Meyers alone right now since Amy Poehler left the show for greener pastures at NBC).

The way in which news stories are skewered on the REALLY!?! segment is hysterically funny.  But as humorous as these segments are, they also touch home on many topics as they drill in the fact very effectively that some things are just not reasonable, no matter how they are portrayed or painted.  Time and time again, they hit the nail on the head - and the humor that results explodes in a knowing laughter that stings a little (or a lot).

And that is how I feel about Joseph Smith and Rough Stone Rolling.

I mean, REALLY!?!



This book was written by Richard L. Bushman as commissioned by the LDS Church, and it was published by Deseret Books (the church's publishing arm).  I read this book after my exit from Mormonism because I wanted to see how Richard Bushman dealt with the real issues.  Touting the philosophy that despite Joseph Smith's many human flaws, he was still a Prophet of God (at least, according to them), it has given so many Mormons a place to hang their hats.  While taking this stance is not credible to me, I have had conversations with several TBMs (true, believing Mormons) who have  adopted this philosophy down to the letter.  Of course, it was very clever of the LDS Church leaders to commission the writing of this book.  Since the advent of the internet, they are dealing with an onslaught of negative information about Joseph Smith and the beginnings of Mormonism.  It's like an avalanche that is completely unstoppable.  And what better way to deal with all the negative information than to put their own spin on it.  Reminds me of the movie Wag the Dog and its idiomatic meaning, which is:  "To 'wag the dog' means to purposely divert attention from what would otherwise be of greater importance, to something else of lesser significance. By doing so, the lesser-significant event is catapulted into the limelight, drowning proper attention to what was originally the more important issue.  The expression comes from the saying that 'a dog is smarter than its tail', but if the tail were smarter, then the tail would 'wag the dog'."

However, despite my opinion, according to some people this book is aiding in getting TBMs to realize the actual history of the Mormon Church, and not simply dismiss what they hear as "Anti-Mormon Propaganda."  If that is the case, that is a good outcome.  In fact, on the Crapstain blog, the author (Sandi) in her post entitled, "Why My Favorite book at Deseret Book Store is Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling," says that this book is helping some TBMs to get off their high horses in a way that is a positive step forward.  In that post, she said, "The information revealed about Joseph Smith in this book is more than the vast majority of LDS members have ever heard, since it's potentially damning, and the church has always swept it under the rug, made excuses for it, or glossed it over in a way that causes members to not question.  (It's a dangerous thing, not questioning)."

Yes, not questioning is a very dangerous thing.  But as far as Rough Stone Rolling helping some Mormons to come off their high horses even a little (and in a graceful dismount), I doubt that it will make much difference in the long-run in the Mormon Church.  What the Mormon Church wants is total compliance and no questioning.  It all boils down to this quote:  "When the prophet speaks, the debate is over."  They may have commissioned the writing of this book as a way to "explain away" some horrible information, but that doesn't mean they are flexible in the least. 

Personally, I consider the premise of Rough Stone Rolling to be an untenable stand that I cannot reconcile.  Joseph Smith's "flaws" as shown by what I have discovered were very major and are not what I consider to be in line with how a Prophet of God would conduct himself.  Truly, in my opinion, if Joseph Smith indeed was a Prophet of God, I believe that God would have smacked him upside the head and de-Prophetized him for engaging in this crap.

Of course, the first topic that strikes me as one of Joseph's major flaws was his practice of Polygamy and Polyandry.  Perhaps the recent trial of Warren Jeffs and his twisted practice of polygamy (78 wives... really!?!) has brought this to the forefront of my mind.  Or perhaps it's there anyway because I think the whole thing is so totally ridiculous.  After all, Warren Jeffs is practically Joseph Smith Reincarnated.  But truly, the fact that Joseph Smith married 33 women, 10 of whom were teenage girls (one as young as 14 years old), and 11 of whom were women who were already married to living husbands is way at the top of my "Oh Shit" list - and definitely deserves a top position in the Really!?! discussion.  To me, the way in which he went about his obvious obsession with wedding (and bedding) women was inconscionable.  In my opinion, he made many improper advances to many teenage girls, including Helen Mar Kimball (who was only 14 years old and who he coerced into marrying him).  If you follow the link underneath Helen Mar Kimball's name, you will find details of her story from a website called http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/, which was created and is maintained by an active LDS member.  Of course, there were many other women/girls involved in this mess, and the stories of all 33 women who did marry Joseph Smith are contained on that website.  As you will also note, all information is referenced and corroborated from highly credible sources.

In doing my research about Joseph Smith and his practice of Polygamy, I discovered some interesting information about improper advances that he made to Nancy Rigdon (the 19 year old daughter of Sidney Rigdon) who rebuffed him,  telling him that his behavior shocked her.  If you follow the link underneath her name, you will find further details of her story as well, and will note that this information is from the Official History of the Church, and that the letter discussed is contained in LDS Archives (Joseph Smith Collection).




In my opinion as based on the evidence, Joseph Smith invented polygamy/polyandry as a way to get women and satisfy his sexual desires (and with 10 teenage brides, he apparently wanted very young girls).  Of course, he was so wrapped up in his "Prophethood" and "elevated status" (as was Brigham Young), it's not surprising that he would invent a way to share his greatness with many women.  Polygamy ala Joseph Smith started with Fanny Alger in 1833, who was the Smith's live-in housekeeper (and 16 years old) - and escalated from there for the next 11 years.  Oliver Cowdery called what Joseph Smith had with Fanny Alger "a dirty, nasty, filthy affair," and felt that Joseph had not really "married" her, but was rather having an extramarital affair with her.  Of course, once Emma discovered the truth of what was going on (a famous story about finding Joseph and Fanny together in the barn), and the fact that Fanny had apparently become pregnant, she drove Fanny out of the house.  Why she didn't also drive Joseph out of the house and divorce him is beyond me.

One of the things that strikes me the most about Joseph Smith's practice of Polygamy and Polyandry is that when he was questioned about it, he always denied it - such as this statement:
"...What a thing it is for a man to be accused of committing adultery, and having seven wives, when I can only find one. I am the same man, and as innocent as I was fourteen years ago; and I can prove them all perjurers." (History of the Church, vol 6, p. 411Joseph Smith made this statement preaching from the stand to the Latter-day Saints in Nauvoo on Sunday May 26, 1844.  At the time he had secretly taken at 33 plural wives.
Given the fact that Brigham Young had 55 wives, I often wonder what would have happened if Joseph Smith had not been killed in Carthage Jail (in Illinois) and had gone West to Utah with the Saints.  I'm sure he would have ended up with many more wives - probably approaching or exceeding the number that Warren Jeffs claims today.

But even aside from the question of Polygamy and Polyandry, there are many other "flaws" that Joseph Smith exhibited that I do not believe are in line with him being considered a Prophet of God.  More for my "Oh Shit" list...

For instance, I was shocked to discover how many times Joseph Smith was investigated for or charged with criminal activity, and how many times he was arrested.  Here is the result of my research:


Criminal Charges / Arrests
Joseph Smith

1.  1826 – New York

Tried in Chenango County, New York, for the crime of pretending to find lost treasure.  It appears that he was convicted of this crime and paid a fine (and may have even been "escorted by the Sheriff" out of the county per the verdict).  For more information on this arrest and trial, please read what is contained on the BYU Law Blog at this link - as well as what FairMormon.org has to say at this link.  Of particular interest is this portion of this blog entry is this statement:  "Reverend Wesley P. Walters of the United Presbyterian church in Marissa, Illinois, discovered some records in the basement of the sheriff's office in Norwich, New York, which he maintains demonstrate the actuality of the 1826 trial and go far to substantiate that Joseph Smith spent part of his early career in southern New York as a money digger and seer of hidden treasures. A periodical in Salt Lake City which heralded Walters's findings said they "undermine Mormonism" and repeated a statement by Hugh Nibley in The Myth Makers, "if this court record is authentic it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith."


Interesting, to say the least...


2.  1830 – New York


Smith reportedly performed an exorcism in Colesville, and he was again tried as a disorderly person but was acquitted.  The account of the exorcism is on the SaintsWithoutHalos website as well as in this article about the Knight family on LDS.org.  The article on LDS.org discusses the trial as well.

3.  1837 - Kirtland, Ohio

In May 1837, Grandison Newell accused Joseph Smith of plotting to murder him.  Joseph was eventually acquitted, but the testimony of church leaders and employees revealed how seriously the Prophet's followers took his supposed off-hand remarks (or perhaps he meant them).  In either case, statements by two apostles and other close associates no doubt undermined Joseph Smith's reputation.  Wilbur Denton and Sidney Rigdon both testified that the alleged conspiracy took place in April or May of 1835.   Orson Hyde testified that when rumors began circulating that Newell might sue the floundering Kirtland Safety Society, Joseph Smith "seemed much excited and declared that Newell should be put out of the way, or where the crows could not find him," and he said that "destroying Newell would be justifiable in the slight of God, that it was the will of God, etc."  You can read more about this incident on the SaintsWithoutHalos website at this link.  It should be noted that all information on the SaintsWithoutHalos website is completely cross-referenced and linked to highly credible sources.

4.  1838 – Kirtland, Ohio

After a warrant was issued for Smith's arrest on a charge of banking fraud, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon fled Kirtland for Missouri on the night of Jan. 12, 1838.  This incident had to do with the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, and with charges of fraud and illegal banking, including the illegal purchase of Monroe Bank in Michigan by Smith and Ridgon.  After the purchase of Monroe Bank was complete, Oliver Cowdery was named as its Vice-President, and as part of that deal and Oliver's move to Michigan to run that bank, his Ohio company (O. Cowdery & Company) was dissolved and all assets were transferred to Jospeh Smith and Sidney Rigdon.  Of course, 1837 was filled with events that led to the banking failure and the fraud charges, and numerous events occurred during that time frame, culminating in Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon fleeing Kirtland and heading for Missouri.  Please see the information contained on the SaintsWithoutHalos website at this link - and on FairMormon.org at this link.


5.  1838 – Missouri

On November 1, 1838, the Mormon surrendered to 2,500 state troops, and agreed to forfeit their property and leave the state.  Joseph Smith was court-martialed and nearly executed for treason, but militiaman Alexander Doniphan, who was also Joseph Smith's attorney, probably saved Joseph's life by insisting that he was a civilian.  Joseph Smith was then sent to a state court for a preliminary hearing, where several of his former allies, including Danite commander Sampson Avard, turned state's evidence against him.  Joseph Smith and five others, including Sidney Rigdon, were charged with "overt acts of treason," and transferred to the jail at Liberty, Missouri to await trial.

In 1839, Smith and his companions tried to escape at least twice during their four-month imprisonment.  On April 6, 1839, on their way to a different jail after their grand jury hearing, they succeeded in escaping by bribing the sheriff.  Subsequently, Joseph Smith and the Mormons fled the state and moved to Illinois.

6.  1844 – Illinois

Arrested for ordering the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor printing press and the burning of building in which it was housed (after an article was written exposing the truth behind Joseph Smith’s practice of polygamy and polyandry).  He was subsequently killed on June 27, 1844 while in Carthage Jail.  Interestingly, after the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor and the burning of the building, Joseph Smith fled the state, going across the Mississippi River into Iowa.  It was only upon the pleadings of Emma Smith (his fist wife) that he returned to Illinois to face the charges - and was arrested.  And of course, there is the famous statement that Joseph Smith made on his way to Carthage Jail - that he was going as a lamb to the slaughter.  Yeah, right!  I mean, he had a gun and shot it during the shoot-out.  How is that being like a lamb going to the slaughter?  And using that terminology would intimate that he was an innocent man, when that is the farthest thing from the truth. 

My reaction to discovering all of the above (#1-6) was WOW!!  Of course, it also makes me sick to my stomach, especially since I was a member of this cult for over 50 years.  In researching all of this, I found so much that I never knew before, mainly because nothing about this type of information is ever discussed in Mormon Church meetings.  Like the Monroe Bank in Michigan.  Oliver Cowdery becoming its Vice-President and relinquishing the assets in his Ohio business to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in the process?  Really!?!  Interestingly, Oliver Cowdery was excommunicated from the Mormon Church in 1838 as well.  From what I have been able to discern, his excommunication was for speaking out against Joseph Smith and his practice of polygamy - but it appears now that it probably had something to do with the Monroe Bank and the banking failure of the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company as well.  And perhaps appointing him as Vice-President of the Monroe Bank in Michigan was a way to get rid of him since he was becoming too vocal about Joseph Smith's activities.  Here is the chronology from 1838 from the SaintsWithoutHalos website.

Of course, I could go on and on about the many versions of the First Vision, the supposed "martyrdom" of Joseph Smith upon being killed while in Carthage Jail (and the fact that he had a gun with him during the shoot-out), the true origins of the Book of Mormon, and the supposed translation of the Book of Abraham, but since all of those topics are discussed in length in the book I have written which is posted on this blog, I won't go into all that here (especially since this post has gotten so long).  Suffice it to say that Joseph Smith was a very busy boy in his gold-digging business, treasure-hunting, founding Mormonism, creating doctrine to add to it (like the Book of Mormon, Book of Abraham and the D&C), exorcisms, purchasing banks, founding new banking companies, getting arrested (and defending himself, as well as escaping and bribing his way out of jail), chasing women, trying to talk them into marrying him, having actual weddings, juggling all the women (I mean, 33 wives must have been a job all by itself), joining the Masons, stealing the Masonic ceremonies for use in the Mormon Temple in Nauvoo, designing special undergarments (with obvious Masonic symbols incorporated in them), and on and on.

I have to admit that what Joseph lacked in credibility, he made up for in creativity, charisma, and chutzpah. 

What a guy, huh?!!  I mean... REALLY!?!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

IF LIES ARE LACED THROUGHOUT IT ALL - LDS Hymn Parody #34


One of the biggest remaining questions for me regarding the Mormon Church and its members is why so many of them seem to not want to know the truth.  Like in this picture, the minute someone tries to tell them an opposing opinion, they immediately shut off their minds... the ol' la, la, la, I can't hear you response.  But then again, I suppose this response is understandable when you look at the atmosphere created within Mormonism (i.e. when the prophet speaks, the thinking is done, the debate is over).  In this way, the members are more able to rationalize through all of the loose ends and apparent lies to arrive at the conclusion that the Mormon Church is somehow true.  Very clever, these Mormon leaders.

Of course, having been born and raised in the Mormon Church, I can understand where this immediate response to shut off your brain comes from to a certain degree.  Since I just went along for many years (50 to be exact), not really questioning very much and just accepting it all without much thinking or contemplation, I know how deep the brainwashing runs.  If I didn't understand something, I was given the message that we cannot understand everything in this life, but that if we endure to the end, it will all be made known to us and then we will know that it was worth it.  I was also given the message that I must not be worthy enough to understand certain things, so I needed to pray more, study the scriptures more, attend all of the church meetings, etc., and then perhaps it would make more sense.  If there's anything wrong, it couldn't possibly be that the church is wrong, so it must be that you are not worthy enough.  The ol' it's you not them mindset.  Sadly, this works quite well in Mormondom.

This is one of the things that strikes me the hardest when reading the comments posted on my blog by Anonymous in the past few days.  This person is obviously spouting the Mormon Party Line, and it seems to me that there is very little actual thinking going on.  The Mormon leadership should be very proud of this person since he/she is the epitome of The Mormon Way.

And so this leads to my latest hymn parody.  Truly, if lies are laced throughout it all, why don't they want to know?  When I began to discover all the discrepancies between what I had been taught and what was true in reality, I was flabbergasted and very confused - but I was also grateful that I had finally taken the step to finding out the actual truth.  If I am now ridiculed and mocked by TBMs, that is a small price to pay.  But regardless of what they all think, I cannot remain quiet about what I have discovered.  To do so would be to diminish the effect of the actual knowledge that I have gained.  And I refuse to be a compliant sheep anymore.

IF LIES ARE LACED THROUGHOUT IT ALL
Sung to the tune of O Love That Glorifies the Son, #295

If lies are laced throughout it all,
If lies are written on the wall,
Those lies will be its sure downfall.
Why don’t they want to know?
Why don’t they want to know?


Why do they cling to what they’re told
And all of the apostates scold?
There’s lies throughout what they’ve been sold.
Why don’t they want to know?
Why don’t they want to know?


They hide their heads deep in the sand,
And say that they don’t understand
Why we have taken such a stand
Against the Mormon Church,
Against the Mormon Church.


Instead of saying we besmirch
The doctrines of the Mormon Church,
Why don’t they do their own research?
Perhaps they’d find the truth,
Perhaps they’d find the truth.


They ask us why we can’t move on,
To Mormonism we are drawn,
They want us all to just be gone,
To simply go away,
To simply go away.


Apostates who have broken free,
Who all the lies so plainly see,
Our voices cannot silent be,
Or it will be for naught,
Or it will be for naught.


© Diane Tingen, 8/7/2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

DEAR ANONYMOUS

You posted 3 comments on my blog today, and although I would like to respond directly to you, you've made that impossible since you posted them anonymously.  According to my Feedjit App, you live in Mesa, Arizona, but that doesn't give me enough information to locate you.  So I will post this open letter with the hopes that you will come back to my blog to "check in" and will find it.  And by the way, it seems to me that those who post anonymously are too cowardly to post using either their real name or at least a way for someone to contact them.  If a person is secure in their opinions, shouldn't they be willing and able to handle whatever response they may get?  I'm not hiding behind a pseudonym here, and I'm certainly not posting anonymously.  I'm very firm in my opinions about the lies and deception that are laced throughout Mormonism, and I'm ready to discuss them at any time.

The first comment you posted was this:  "Mormonism is true. I am a Mormon. No, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know who I am and I won't forget it, not now, not ever. You may have forgotten who you are and what your divine destiny is, but trying to convince others that it's not true isn't right. How can you do this to others? How can you make these awful claims of the truthfulness of the gospel? How can you leave it when the Spirit can be felt so strongly at times? How can you do this to yourself?"  By Anonymous on Mormonism Seuss-ified at 1:21 PM

You say that although you know who you are and won't forget it, not now, not ever, that I may have forgotten who I am and what my divine destiny is.  You go on to say that trying to convice others that it's not true isn't right, and ask how I can do this to others, even going on to ask how I can make these awful claims of the truthfulness of the gospel... how can I do this to myself?  To answer your questions, how can I NOT do this?  When I discovered the lies and deception laced throughout Mormonism, I was flabbergasted.  I was born and raised in the Mormon Church, and I never expected to discover that the religion on which I had based my life was actually a fraudulent scam.  But that's exactly what it is, and if you would do some independent research instead of relying on what the Mormon Church tells you to believe, you might discover the truth as well.  If you want to read the entire background on my journey away from Mormonism, you can read my book which is posted on this blog.

The second comment you posted was this:  "You must not know what Mormon heaven is if you'd rather choose the other way.  And you must not understand what the other way holds."  By Anonymous on Heaven... or Hell??? at 1:24 PM

Yes, I know what "Mormon Heaven" is claimed to be.  The Celestial Kingdom.  A fantasy place made up by Joseph Smith, along with two "lower" kingdoms called the Terrestrial Kingdom and the Telestial Kingdom.  He made up a lot of stuff, and simply because there were people who bought it all doesn't mean it's true.  As the saying goes:




And as far as what "the other way" holds (i.e. Hell), I'll take my chances.  After all, no living person really knows what the Afterlife holds.  They can profess a religious belief, but no one knows what is true until it's too late to tell others.

Your third comment is the most interesting by far... and definitely the most rambling:  "Why would Joseph Smith create such a lie and still continue on with it? If it wasn't true, why did he allow himself to be tarred and feathered? If it was a made-up story, why would he choose to preach it and show such strength even though he was killed in the end? If it was a lie, why would he allow his friends and family and HIMSELF to be tortured, beaten, spit upon, and torn up in such an awful way? Why didn't he, if it wasn't true, just drop the whole idea in the end? Make people like him like the rest of the world would have done? And if it's a lie, why did so many people join? Why not just his closest friends and families? Why millions? Why? Because: it IS true. Quite often when people have something great to share, it isn't believed. The world says it is so amazing that it can't be true and the people all believe the world. Except for the ones who really try, who really pray; why would the early members, including Joseph Smith, have kept going had it been a lie? It makes no  sense; if you have the chance to win twenty million dollars but people say it's not real, it's fake, but it really is, are you going to give up, knowing that you could have gotten that twenty million dollars, or that celestial salvation, in the end? Would you give up your chance on twenty million just because people discourage you? Or would you work at it and keep going until you HAVE twenty million? Think on that. Because it is true. And the reason people keep going through all the trials and tribulations brought upon them by the world is because they have found something great. It's because they've found something amazing, astounding, something worth sharing. Once you got your twenty million, wouldn't you share the chance with your family members, friends? Wouldn't you want them to be just as happy as you are? But the reward of celestial salvation is MUCH more than twenty million; it's more than anyone could even comprehend on their own. The things that He has in store for us are amazing, are truly astounding, are way greater than any trials or tribulations could ever overcome. Why shouldn't we share it with people? Why shouldn't we want our family members and friends, everyone, be as happy as we are? That's why we continue on. That's why we don't stop. That's why we don't and why we will never give up. That's the reason we are so happy. Because it is true and we know it. We know who we are. We know who we can become. We know what's in store and what we can gain. We know it. We know who we are. I know who I am. And I hope you do too; because if you decide to continue like this, you won't get your twenty million. Why would anyone give up that chance?"  By Anonymous on Called to Dupe Them - LDS Hymn Parody at 1:35 PM

When someone goes on and on to the point of rambling, it is usually a sign that a nerve has been hit.  Perhaps that is the case with your three comments, particularly since they were posted this afternoon in the course of 14 minutes.  To comment on your first list of questions from this third comment, I'll break it down.

1.  Why would Joseph Smith create such a lie and still continue on with it?  Plain and simple, it is my opinion that Joseph Smith created Mormonism to gain power over people and to get their money.  He became a rich and powerful man because of Mormonism.  And as far as I am concerned, that was his motivation.  Plus he pretty much got to say whatever he wanted, and people hung on his every word.  Plus he creating polygamy, marrying 10 teenage girls (one as young as 14), and 11 women who were already married to living husbands.  Yes, I do believe the his sexual appetite and desire to bed numerous women was the motivation behind his invention of polygamy and polyandry.  The evidence is there.  Just look at it.

2.   If it wasn't true, why did he allow himself to be tarred and feathered?  This question is actually pretty funny.  If a group of people were going to tar and feather someone, the act doesn't occur because the victim has "allowed" it to happen.  They are captured - and then tarred and feathered.  What you need to ask yourself is WHY was Joseph Smith tarred and feathered.   Research that question and the name Nancy Miranda Johnson will come up.  Here's a link that gives some interesting information about this incident.  And before you pass this information off as "anti-Mormon propaganda," please remember that these are historical facts. 

3.  If it was a made-up story, why would he choose to preach it and show such strength even though he was killed in the end?  Well, I've already stated my opinion on why Joseph Smith chose to preach Mormonism.  As far as showing strength and being killed in the end, he was not killed because of "religious persecution" as touted by the Mormon Church (and as I was told growing up).  He was arrested and placed in Carthage Jail because he ordered the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor printing press (and the burning of the building in which it was housed) after a story was published exposing the truth behind Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy and polyandry.  And the mob that attacked him while he was in Carthage Jail did so because of Joseph Smith's practice of polygamy/polyandry and what was exposed in the article published in the Nauvoo Expositor (and by the way, did you know that he had a gun with him during the shoot-out and shot it?  That was news to me, too).  The fact that he was in jail for this act did not make him a religious martyr upon his death but rather a criminal.  It really irritates me that I was taught otherwise, and sang hymns like "Praise to the Man."  It wasn't until I did my own independent research that I began to discover the truth behind it all.  I just wish I had done my research much earlier in my life so I wouldn't have spent 52 years in a religion that plays so fast and loose with the truth - and was obviously a hoax from the get-go.

4.  If it was a lie, why would he allow his friends and family and HIMSELF to be tortured, beaten, spit upon, and torn up in such an awful way?  Why didn't he, if it wasn't true, just drop the whole idea in the end?  Those are good questions and ones that in most likelihood have several answers.  Yes, the Mormons were persecuted for their beliefs.  But Joseph Smith was the one who had the most to lose if he were to turn away from it.  In my opinion, he craved the power that he gained by being the founder of Mormonism.  From what I have read, he was very charasmatic and was able to get people to follow him.  But in the process of establishing Mormonism, he told a lot of lies and kept digging his hole deeper and deeper.  How could he suddenly say it wasn't true?  How could he turn away from it when he had created such a money machine?  No, instead of turning away from it, he just kept moving and moving and moving... from New York... to Ohio... to Missouri... to Illinois.... hoping that people would leave him and his followers alone.  But in the end, he couldn't just leave well enough alone and began a campaign to run for President of the United States.  Such arrogance.  And that was probably the final nail in his coffin.  Of course, after his death, Brigham Young took over and moved the Mormons to Utah where he built an incredible empire and made himself a very rich man.   And so the lies were perpetuated... and more men became rich and powerful on the coat tails of the "Saints."





5.  And if it's a lie, why did so many people join? Why not just his closest friends and families? Why millions?  Why did so many people join?  Well, the answer is obvious.  They were told lies that they bought - and the Mormon community was so closed off from the rest of civilization that they became trapped in the lifestyle.  Back in the beginnings of the church, they didn't have the internet (or Google) to lead them to the truth.  Lies weren't so easily discovered until the advent of the internet, but now they are easily uncovered.  You really should do some research.  Just Google it.  Like this paraphase of a scripture used by the Mormon Church says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Google, and the truth will be made known unto you."  Of course, the lies and deception continue today, and people who join the Mormon Church today are not told the truth behind Mormonism.  It isn't until they begin to do their own research that they discover that the religion they have joined is a fraud.  Very sad state of affairs.

As far as the statistics broadcasted by the Mormon Church today, it claims 14 Million members.  Worldwide.  And what is the total world population today?  7 Billion.  At 14 Million, that is .2% of the world's population.  That's not even 1%.  Not even 1/2 of 1%.  After all, 1 Billion is 1,000 million.  But the fact is that number is highly inflated since it includes inactive members, excommunicated members, and deceased members (no, they don't take those names out of their numbers - look it up). So let's talk active members. Perhaps 4 Million.  And at the real number of 4 million members, that is .06% of 7 Billion.  Barely over 1/2 of 1% of the entire world's population.  So what does the Mormon Church really have to brag about in saying it has 14 Million members?  Not very much when you compare that number to the world's population.  Yes, I know - that's why the Mormon Church has baptism for the dead.  For those who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel.  Just another one of Joseph Smith's inventions.

You use the analogy of the 20 Million dollars.  Well, my blog contains another analogy.  This is a quote by Christopher Miller.
Some of you are probably thinking, "Why don't you just leave them (the Mormons) alone?" So I ask you, if you saw a thirsty man drinking water from a well you knew to be poisoned, would you let him continue to drink or would you guide him to a safe well?
In my ExMormon state, I prefer to try to guide people away from this bogus religion rather than just sit by quietly and watch them continue to be poisoned.  Seems like the humane thing to do.

And in closing, Dear Anonymous, you can keep the 20 Million dollars.  Particularly if Joseph Smith has anything to do with handing it out.  Because in actuality, it will probably be illegal tender left over from his Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company scheme.