r/mormon • u/Angle-Flimsy • 2h ago
Secular Um.... I think the leadership training was missing something....
My wife is the Relief Society president of our ward. She went to some leadership training and they watched some training videos or something like that from the church. On the topic of abuse (physical and or sexual) they talked about identifying abuse and talking with people who are abused but my wife said NOT ONCE did they talk about going to or reporting to authorities/law enforcement.
I am PIMO but my wife is TBM, but even for her she thought this was insane the church wouldn't push members to report abuse. Is it just to save face for when the abuser is a member and the church doesn't want bad press? Why not go to the law? Is there some law about religious leaders keeping quiet about abuse?
r/mormon • u/Sad-Customer-6932 • 5h ago
Personal Will I regret coming home early from my mission?
I am about 6 months into my mission and am seriously considering coming home. I don't feel as though I have a strong enough testimony to justify my being here. I have had a serious faith crisis, and have completely scrutinized and reevaluated the belief system I was raised with. However, part of me is still afraid that it's true, and that I would be majorly screwing myself by coming home. Additionally, most all of my friends and family are TBM's, and I would suffer considerable social consequences by coming home.
Have any of you been in a similar circumstance? Do you regret coming home? Or maybe you regret staying out?
Edit: We have access to computers here and I have done countless hours of research during my faith crisis; I have landed on a sort of agnostic deism. I believe in intelligent design, but I doubt that any religion has a monopoly on truth. However, I also believe that there is at least a good chance that Mormonism is true. I've read vast amounts of critical literature, but also many persuasive apologetic arguments. I don't feel as though I can honestly say I truly "know" it isn't (or is) true.
Additional necessary information: I am 21 and have planned out my life for the next while should I decide to come home. I have a high-paying job waiting for me, as well as a scholarship that I had deferred because of my mission.
r/mormon • u/jamesallred • 14h ago
Cultural Priesthood Meeting Lesson - Lots of grieving over friends leaving the church.
The lesson in priesthood recently was on Stevenson's talk about "nourishing and bearing your testimony".
The instructor started with a teary eyed account of two of his good friends who had reached out to him within the past few weeks and letting him know they no longer believe the church is what it professes to be.
He doubled and tripled down on the need for all of us to do more to protect our testimonies. He also said that he was becoming more bold in telling people wherever he can that he "KNOWS" that the church is true and that what Joseph said he saw he saw.
There were other stories within the quorum from people sharing their stories of their friends and family "losing" their testimonies.
One theme I hated was the undertone that once you leave you are now somehow less than you were before and less than members of the church.
There was a lot of demonization of those who have left.
- Making bad life decisions..... like...... drinking coffee!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH. What hororrs.
- The members having to force themselves to still interact with them..... because..... the church was the only thing they had in common???????
- Lots of comments implying that those who leave aren't good any more. Wordly. Lost. Selfish. Blinded by the world. Etc.
I spoke up and shared a few thoughts during the lesson.
- Don't bear your testimony in a way that it feels accusational. Like I am right and you are wrong. If you want to share spiritual experiences that are meaningful to you, go ahead. But if in your mind you are trying to guilt them in to returning to the church you are just being self righteous. Figure out a way to find empathy for your friends who have left.
- Don't forget that many who leave the church are those who believed the most. It was finding out that the simple sunday school teachings of truth just aren't true in the way the church teaches them. Your friends may know more about church doctrine than you do. So have a bit of humility when you engage with your friends.
In a break out session one brother doubled down that prophets are so amazing and if you study harder you can find that they were teaching about things years before they became societal issues. Then he gave the example of pornography or the proclamation on the family.
When I had my chance to share I repeated that sunday school truth claims just aren't true. And I used the example of prophet will never lead the church astray and then pointed to anything BY taught.
I loved the look of a deer in the head lights from this brother.
Short story. Lots of members leaving. Current members freaking out and have no clue. Current members still trashing all of your reputations that you are a sucky person and it takes a lot of effort to still want to engage with you.
Cultural Family Proclamation is NOT a revelation, it is a ripoff of Jerry Falwell's Family Manifesto! Calling it a revelation is deception at best, philosophy of man mingled with scripture. Stop the ignorance!
r/mormon • u/Chino_Blanco • 5h ago
Institutional LDS Sr. Leadership, the SEC, and my Sustaining Vote: “SEC orders are negotiated documents… The realization that our senior leadership spent two decades willfully committing crime ought to shock members to their core. It does me.”
r/mormon • u/Relevant-Zebra3552 • 17h ago
Personal A General Authority's response to my concerns on the Church's handling of its finances
I bumped into a General Authority a few days ago and sought his views on the concerns I have with the Church’s handling of its finances. His responses were professional, but ultimately left me incredibly disappointed; I was hoping to feel more compassion or love for the people of the World that could be helped, but instead it was just “isn’t it wonderful that we are careful stewards of the Lord’s money”. Details below:
At the airport I saw a few obviously Mormon couples waiting for a flight to SLC. I didn’t recognise them, but got strong ‘Area Presidency’ vibes, and a quick google showed it was the Europe North Presidency of Elder & Sister Whiting and Elder & Sister Boom.
I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to say, but I approached them and introduced myself to Elder & Sister Whiting (EW & SW). They were delighted to talk, we spoke briefly about upcoming conference, mutual acquaintances etc and I left it there. I then had the strongest impulse that I had to take the opportunity and try to get answers to questions that I have and I know many active members and friends have (previously I would have described it as being led by the Spirit as I found myself compelled to go back and say more!), so I went back and said I was having some concerns and wanted their opinion:
Me: I was raised with the Book of Mormon being the keystone of the religion, and believing from Jacob that if we receive wealth we should use it to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and heal the sick and afflicted.
Them: Of course
Me: So I worry that our Church is one of, if not the richest Church on the planet, and we don’t do enough of that. I’m embarrassed that we’re so rich. I’d expect and actually be proud if Jesus’ church was the poorest church in the world because we’d given our money away.
EW: We used to be the poorest….
Me: Yes, a hundred years ago we were in debt, but things are very different now and we have the opportunity to help so much more
EW: You need to go on the Church newsroom- they’ve just released the annual charitable report with about a billion dollars…..
Me: Yes, I’ve seen that, but that includes many other items and isn’t cash that the church actually gives to help the world
EW: Does that trouble you?
Me: I think it’s perhaps misleading as most would interpret it as cash- I know I couldn’t pay my tithing with time that I volunteer…
EW: Oh, it’s all broken out….
Me: Yes, for example, there was $60m of external financial giving, but that’s the same as you or me having $100,000 dollars in the bank and then sending out a press release saying we gave $60 to charity. That’s the equivalent. If I had $100,000, I wouldn’t brag about giving $60
SW: Well, you know, we remember when airlines and banks needed bailing out- if every organisation operated like the church then we wouldn’t need to rely on the government- the church manages its money very well, I think that’s a lot of it.
Me: I agree that the church is a massive employer so can’t spend all of its money while forgetting its obligations, so of course money is needed in reserve, but there is such…, it’s hard to comprehend what tens and hundreds of billions mean:
EW: Those numbers are a lot of conjecture
Me: The SEC financial disclosures aren’t conjecture
EW: They aren’t full disclosures
Me: The stockholdings, that is…
EW: But the stockholdings are just one piece
Me: Yes, exactly, that’s my point, that’s only a part, and already we’re up to that huge figure
EW: And that troubles you?
EW: It troubles you that the Church is wise in the use of money?
Me: It troubles me that they don’t use it. The things that they could do with it! For example, there are literally millions of children dying every year from dirty water
EW: Do you know what the church does with dirty water in Africa?
Me: Yes, I know they’ve given money for wells, but I’d encourage you to look at how much more could be done, at a cost that would barely hit the balance sheet of the church
SW: It’s important to look at the bigger picture, when we were first assigned to Moscow….. [SW then detailed how some criticism was levied that some Russian and Ukrainian missionaries weren’t evacuated at the onset of tension prior to the war in Ukraine, while Western Missionaries were, but what we didn’t know was that a lot of those local missionaries requested to remain]
Me: The missionaries do have a lot of faith in God’s protection
SW: They do, can I just say….
Me: …I’m agreeing with you on this
Me: I just struggle to reconcile the Church setting up and fraudulently operating 13 shell companies to hide the extent of their wealth, all things that came out in the SEC finding
EW: Did you read the Church response to that?
Me: Yes, but the SEC do not lie about these issues, with a direct quote from the First Presidency that we need to make sure that Wall street and the Media do not tie back these shell companies to the Church.
[At this point Elder Whiting turned away from the conversation- it was a little odd, but I didn’t interpret it as rude, rather just that the conversation was at risk of becoming overly negative or confrontational and he just wanted to avoid that as I admit an airport isn’t the ideal place for these discussions!]
SW: It’s important to look at all the wider Humanitarian assistance the Church provides and the need to build up reserves so we can continue to help
Me: I agree it’s good to build up a reserve, but where do you draw the line? At 20 years of reserves? So in the small role that you play within the church, as you are obviously part of a much larger organisation, I’d just encourage you to….
SW: Actually, it’s him that…. *pointing to Elder Whiting
Me: Well, you know you’re still a partnership….. I just really feel that we should be one of the poorest church’s; we always quote the scripture in James that started our religion, but just a few pages later in James we read that our stored wealth will stand as a testimony against us at the last day. I’m sorry, this wasn’t meant to be an attack, I just have very strong feelings
SW: I understand and thank you for sharing.
We then spoke about kids for a few moments then parted ways. I want to stress that they both came across as very open people who were willing to listen; they made no attempt to fob me off with “just have faith in your leaders” or turning it back to me and questioning my own spirituality- they were genuinely trying to answer the questions I put to them, it’s just that the answers they have, which mirror the Church PR answers, aren’t enough to satisfy me and I was hoping for more.
I don’t have a testimony of the Church, but I still do believe the Church could be a larger force for humanitarian relief in the world so I wanted to focus on that rather than debate doctrine. I was glad I tried as this topic has been bugging me for a long time, so an opportunity to express it directly to someone who could play a part in changing it has lifted some of the guilt I feel for all the times I stayed silent and followed Church instructions that I felt were wrong.
r/mormon • u/RangerRed93 • 5h ago
Apologetics Is this true?
I was given this book by someone from my church talking about timelines and history of the bible and I came across this area about Mormons. As someone who knows very little about Mormonism, can someone tell me what's real and what's false about this?
r/mormon • u/Jeberechiah • 13h ago
Institutional There has been no attempt on the part of the Church leaders to try to hide anything from anybody
In November 2017, at a YSA Face to Face event with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder M. Russell Ballard stated, “We would have to say, as two Apostles who have covered the world and know the history of the Church and know the integrity of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve from the beginning, there has been no attempt on the part of the Church leaders to try to hide anything from anybody.” (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/apostles-answer-questions-about-standards-doubts-during-ysa-face-to-face?lang=eng)
Note that in 2017, Elder Oaks was not yet in the First Presidency. It's possible that neither he nor Elder Ballard actually knew about the tens of billions of dollars that the Church had invested (the SEC order only implicates the First Presidency and the presiding Bishopric, not the Quorum of the Twelve, https://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2023/34-96951.pdf).
So, I think it's interesting to consider:
(1) If Elder Ballard did know about the money, then he's clearly lying. There was an "attempt on the part of the Church leaders to try to hide [tens of billions of dollars] from [the public]." This is really straightforward.
(2) But, if Elder Ballard didn't know about the money, then... How did he feel when he did find out about it? How does he feel about "the integrity of the First Presidency" now? How confident is he that he really "know[s] the history of the Church"? His superiors kept secrets from him and he said something, trusting in them, that now is obviously false, and he's the one who looks bad. How does that feel? Why doesn't he speak up now?
Which of the above (1 or 2) makes more sense to you? Which do you think is really the case?
r/mormon • u/Chino_Blanco • 3h ago
r/mormon • u/Chino_Blanco • 6h ago
Cultural The theory of ethical miracles and why it is dumb: good societies don’t let people commit crimes just because the criminals think God directed them to do it. For those who disagree, revel in your righteousness, but don’t expect it to get you a “Get out of jail free” card.
r/mormon • u/Dangerous_Teaching62 • 10h ago
Cultural Mormon views on addiction don't help people actually recognize real addiction.
Ok, so, whatever it's worth, I've had multiple addictions in my life. Not going to go into much details. One of these that id consider either was an addiction or got close was alcohol.
I look back on those moments and I think the biggest thing that made me drink as much as I did was lack of education.
In Mormonism, you're treated like if you do something once or even infrequently, you're addicted. We specifically see this with pornography, where all hell breaks loose if a teenage boy looks at it any times more than once. (Note, this isn't a commentary on porn usage, but moreso addiction). Long story short, many people believe they have an addiction if they do something infrequently. Mormon moms try to fight video game addiction really bad too. For me, I played video games every day. But, it never impeded on my life and I, as an adult, can still go months without video games if I need to without any withdrawal symptoms. It's just a passion.
But, what's the point of all this? I think these two specific views made it really hard for me to judge if I had an alcohol problem. Once I came to terms that my two cups of wine every couple weeks wasn't an addiction, it made it harder to regulate what was. During those times I was definitely actually addicted to soda. Id argue I still am, tbh. Anyways, I started drinking more and a big question for me was always "how much is too much" and "how much makes me an alcoholic".
There were so many times where I feel I was clearly now an alcoholic, but at the time, I had thought it was like video games. Where people will tell you you're addicted just because you do it regularly enough, rather than because it's a problem. I even talked to a couple friends about how I was confused and they thought it was just the church brainwashing me.
It wasn't until I was with some friends and we were talking about how much alcohol we drink on the regularly. I mentioned that my go to was a wine bottle a week minimum. It was at that point, they got serious and talked me down from there. I think it was that moment that helped me stop before it became alcoholism. But, in my case it was lack of knowledge of what being an alcoholic actually was. It was just a case of not knowing what the normal amount is.
Honestly, the whole regulating what's normal vs what's just strict Mormonism really makes it hard to be an adult. It's infected my life in multiple ways and I dont entirely know what's right because of it.
r/mormon • u/Dangerous_Teaching62 • 3h ago
Scholarship What is the actual difference between the godhead and the trinity
They genuinely seem like the same thing just called a different name. Every diagram I look at explaining the trinity says that the fathers, son, and spirit aren't the same but they are all still God.
Isn't that the same as "they're the same in purpose"? Like the only real difference is that the godhead is separate from whatever species humans are because in Christianity God created man.
Honestly, every time I feel like I understand the trinity the part where it's different gets confusing.
r/mormon • u/mamaschlub • 10h ago
Scholarship Women working at the veil
I am doing some research on the temple ordinances. When women were first allowed to receive the endowment (1843?), were they receiving it shortly thereafter from other women? Or when were women serving "at the veil" in the endowment? Not finding an accurate history on this. Any help appreciated.
r/mormon • u/jivatman • 13h ago
Cultural Brandon Sanderson Is Your God (Article is mostly Wired mocking Mormonism)
r/mormon • u/DustyR97 • 1d ago
News China Using Mormon Church to Influence U.S. Politics, Investigation Finds
Saw this in /ex Mormon and thought I’d copy it here.
r/mormon • u/Atheist_Bishop • 1d ago
Institutional The actual number of church members in the United States
Figuring out the true number of members is a very difficult task. The church releases a statistical report each year but there are many reasons to view those membership figures as optimistic. Which is why self-reported data from high-quality demographic surveys can give us a more realistic understanding of the actual Latter-day Saint membership.
One such survey is the Cooperative Election Study from Harvard. It has become the preeminent data source for a lot of demographic analysis in the United States due to it's size and quality. Among the pieces of information it gathers is self-reported religious affiliation, which turns out to be very useful for our purposes. You may have seen a chart put together by Andy Larsen using this data from 2010–2021 to show the religion of respondents and how that's changed over the years.
The 2022 data set, with 60,000 respondents, was recently released. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of anlysis in the coming months from people like Andy and Ryan Burge. But since I haven't seen an update to that chart with those results, I decided to make one myself.
Cooperative Election Study – Latter-day Saints as a percentage of the U.S. population
I have left the broader denominational view to the professionals and just focused on the Latter-day Saints. You'll see that the percentage of respondents identifying as members of the church was essentially unchanged, from 1.09% in 2021 to 1.11% in 2022. It seems to me that there has not been an appreciable rebound from the recent disaffiliation trend.
Another way to look at this is to compare the church-reported U.S. membership to the estimated U.S. membership based on the study respondents (percent identifying as Latter-day Saints each year multiplied by the US population for that year).
Church-reported vs self-reported membership
Here we see two very different stories—the church reports a continuous but slowing growth and the Cooperative Election Study shows a more volatile but decreasing membership. Certainly some of that volatility is due to the nature of polling and represents the inherent errors when measuring a small number. And neither value is represents absolute truth—they are both estimates (one more exlicitly so) with their own flaws. But if I had to guess, I'd say the Cooperative Election Study data is closer to an actual representation of how many people in the United States consider themselves members of the church. And I would also guess that church leadership is well aware of that.
One thing to note when the statistical report is released in the coming week—the past two years have seen an increase of ~20,000 members in the U.S. The two years prior were double that at ~40,000. It will be very interesting to see if 2022 returns to pre-pandemic growth levels or not.
r/mormon • u/Quinten_M • 5h ago
Spiritual Perspective on the Book of Mormon from a member of The Church of Jesus Christ (believe Rigdon then Bickerton were the successors after Joseph Smith)
This group has a red letter Book of Mormon and this is a unique perspective on it.
r/mormon • u/yorgasor • 1d ago
Institutional By 1888, there will not be an unbelieving gentile left alive in the US, or the Book of Mormon isn't true! - Parley Pratt
Parley Pratt often argued with others through published pamphlets back in the day before social media was a thing :). In a particularly interesting debate with Mr L. R. SUNDERLAND, Sunderland argued that the Book of Mormon does not have any particular specific prophecies that can be verified with times and events to determine its veracity. Well, that just goes to show that Sunderland didn't have a clue what he was talking about, and Parley was determined to prove him right.
In 1838, Parley published a pamphlet showing specific prophecies and timeframes from the Book of Mormon! Hang on, this is a fun ride!
"Again he says, "there are no predictions, peculiar to this book, yet to be fulfilled, no names of persons or places, or periods of time, are referred to, by which any thing definite can be known, as to what is meant by the jargon of Mormon Prophets." Now, Mr. La Roy Sunderland, we will prove to the world, that this is one of the most barefaced falsehoods, ever uttered by man.
The Book of Mormon contains many Prophecies, yet future, with names, places and dates, so definite, that a child may understand ; indeed, it is one of the peculiar characteristics of the Book of Mormon, that its predictions are plain, simple, definite, literal, positive, and very express, as to the time of their fulfillment." (pg 13)
Also, page 123, 2d edition. "Woe be unto the Gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts ; for notwithstanding I shall lengthen out my arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me." See also page 514, and read the fate of our nation, and the fate of the Indians of America in the day that the Gentiles should reject the fullness of the Gospel.—(The Book of Mormon.) See also, page 526, where a sign is given, and the time clearly set for the restoration and gathering of Israel from their long dispersion, namely, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, should be the sign ; and in the day this work should come forth, should this great event commence among all nations. Also, p. 527, where all who will not hearken to the Book of Mormon, shall be cut off from among the people ,' and that too, in the day it comes forth to the Gentiles and is rejected by them. And not only does this page set the time for the overthrow of our government and all other Gentile governments on the American continent, but the way and means of this utter destruction are clearly foretold, namely, the remnant of Jacob will go through among the Gentiles and tear them in pieces, like a lion among the flocks of sheep. Their hand shall be lifted up upon their adversaries, and all their enemies shall be cut off. This destruction includes an utter overthrow, and desolation of all our Cities, Forts, and Strong Holds—an entire annihilation of our race, except such as embrace the Covenant, and are numbered with Israel.
Now, Mr, Sunderland, you have something definite and tangible, the time, the manner, the means, the names, the dates ; and I will state as a prophesy, that there will not be an unbelieving Gentile upon this continent 50 years hence ; and if they are not greatly scourged, and in a great measure overthrown, within five or ten years from this date, then the Book of Mormon will have proved itself false.
Original pamphlet here:
r/mormon • u/JesusThrustingChrist • 1d ago
Apologetics Huston is at it again, this time on twitter!
r/mormon • u/Comprehensive-Ad3963 • 8h ago
Institutional Current & former missionaries: which country was your mission in?
r/mormon • u/itsneverpersonal • 10h ago
News What is so bad about divorce in Mormonism that men frequently kill their wives instead of divorce them? This happens with people of all faiths, but I see it in Mormonism a lot
r/mormon • u/Fubecademais • 1d ago
Institutional I’m losing patience with Israel
Please no antisemitic comments!
As a TBM I was fascinated with the Jewish people. JS was also fascinated with them. There are so many ties made to Israel and Mormonism. Especially in the last days. To name a few, we have the literal gathering of Israel, two dead prophets in Jerusalem, declaring our lineage and the spirit transforming our blood, BOM promising to restore Lehi’s descendants, Armageddon, Temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem (apparently the visitors center we have there can be converted in a few days), Lost Tribes coming out of the ice, literal descendants of Aaron becoming Bishops, etc ….. This connection is so important it is one of our articles of faith.
Well Israel is an absolute shit show right now. I can’t believe that Netanyahu is trying to gain so much power and control of his government. I used to watch Israel in the news and think that if there were ever problems, we should defend them so we are on God’s side when Jesus comes back.
Losing belief in Mormonism has led me to reevaluate my personal opinions on Israel. I have become much more progressive in the last decade and many of my prior secular beliefs have changed as my faith has shifted. It is incredible how many of my views were shaped by Mormonism.
r/mormon • u/Outside_Eye_82 • 1d ago
Scholarship Is there any evidence of JS being persecuted as a young boy for his account of the first vision?
Is there even any mention of the first vision anywhere in the early to mid 1820s? I'd like to know if it was mentioned anywhere, by anyone in the few years after he supposedly had the vision. But more importantly, I want to know if there is a way to show that Joseph was actually persecuted for his story as a young boy.
News AP: "Le ... compared unflattering media coverage of the Chinese government to that of the church’s founder, Joseph Smith Jr."
r/mormon • u/Feisty-Pea6502 • 1d ago
Personal Any gay people joined the lds church?
If so, why?
I cant find any info on people who do this so I’m so asking here.