Welcome to MormonThink

 

MormonThink is concerned with truth. As such, we attempt to correct misinformation about the LDS Church made by critics and defenders of the faith (including the Church itself). We present a range of perspectives and viewpoints, privileging those we believe are the most accurate, consistent and empirically valid.


Please start by reading the Introduction.


“Well, we have nothing to hide. Our history is an open book. They may find what they are looking for, but the fact is the history of the church is clear and open and leads to faith and strength and virtues.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley
(Prophet, Seer & Revelator)

~ Dec. 25, 2005 interview with The Associated Press

 

Top Current Stories

Dan Vogel video on the Book of Mormon Witnesses - 9/30/14

Award-wining author Dan Vogel has just come out with his latest video. In this first of two parts, Dan examines the Three Book of Mormon witnesses and does an in-depth analysis of their testimony.

Since its publication in 1830, the Book of Mormon has been accompanied by the Testimony of Three Witnesses claiming to have seen the an angel with the plates and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses claiming that Joseph Smith showed them the plates, which they were allowed to handle. However, subsequent statements by members of both groups of witnesses indicate that the published Testimonies can be misleading and that using them to recreate the historical events behind them is a mistake. In fact, there is significant evidence that the experiences of the Three Witnesses was more subjective than their published Testimony implies and that the Eight Witnesses’ examination of the plates was not completely natural and physical.

Book of Mormon Witnesses - Pt 1 - The Three - Dan Vogel

 

Mormon leaders spread word about controversial essays - 9/24/14

Salt Lake Tribune article:

For about a year, the LDS Church has been posting on its website carefully worded, scholarly essays about touchy topics from the faith’s history and theology.

Did Mormons really abandon polygamy in 1890? Did Brigham Young order the Mountain Meadows Massacre? Do Latter-day Saints believe a man can become like God? How did the church’s ban on black men holding the priesthood come to be? Read full article

 

 

NEW BOOK: Escaping the Darkness of Religious Light, Vol 1 Dr. Kim M. Clark - 9/23/14

This is a perfect book for those seeking to learn more about how the Christian story of Jesus and the concept of God isn't necessarily unique. Latter-day Saints and those familiar with the LDS Church will find this book especially relevant as Mormonism is also discussed in this context as the author is a former Latter-day Saint.

Book Review - Escaping the Darkness of Religious Light

 

Sexual Allegations Against Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Polygamy in Nauvoo - 9/22/14

Former CES teacher Grant Palmer has written a new paper detailing all the known cases in which the prophet Joseph Smith was accused of some sexual misconduct with women. He also discusses the beginnings of polygamy in the Nauvoo era. Please read Allegations against Joseph

 

Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham- 7/8/14

The Church just released the latest essay addressing troubling issues in its history. An essay on the Book of Abraham is now in the topical guide of the LDS.org website. It is found here: Translation and Historicity of the Book of Abraham

MormonThink's response to the essay. Here are two additional resources to review:

Mormon Disclosures Blog about the essay

MormonThink's section on the Book of Abraham issues.

 

Response to the LDS Church's Official Statement from the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dated June 28, 2014 - 6/30/14

The MormonThink editors have carefully reviewed the Church's Official Statement and given their Response.

 

Update on Two Mormons threatened with Excommunication - 6/30/14

For several weeks there have been dozens of news articles about LDS members Kate Kelly and John Dehlin and possible actions they face by by the LDS Church. We list resources below to get the latest information on them.

Mormon Disclosures Blog - insights from an observer.

JOHN DEHLIN - Still facing church discipline hearings for his support of the Ordain Women group and for his mormonstories podcasts that sometimes has both critics and faithful historians discussing troubling issues in LDS Church history.

Mormonstories

KATE KELLY - Formally excommunicated from the LDS Church for her role in the Ordain Women movement.

Abby Huntsman news report (Abby is msnbc reporter raised LDS and daughter of former Utah governor Jon Hunstman Jr. and the granddaughter of the late LDS apostle, David B. Haight.

Ordain Women website

NEWS ARTICLES:

New York Times - Mormons Say Critical Online Comments Draw Threats From Church - 6/19/14

From California to Virginia and states in between, more than a dozen Mormons interviewed in the past week said they had recently been informed by their bishops that they faced excommunication or risked losing permission to enter a temple because of comments they had made online about their faith, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Read full article

Video from Good Morning America

KUTV video

Daily Beast article

NY Times Article

Wall Street Journal

 

Two Recent Mormonstories Podcasts - 6/19/14

John Dehlin of mormonstories most recent videos include an interview with Sandra Tanner and one with Jeremy Runnels. These are both excellent multi-part episodes - available in both podcast and video format.

Jeremy Runnels - Author of the very popular Letter to a CES Director. Jeremy was asked by a CES Director to list his concerns about Church history. Episodes 480-482

Sandra Tanner - Owner of Utah Lighthouse Ministries. She and her husband Jerald were the pioneers of researching and letting members know about many aspects of LDS Church history that were unknown to virtually all members. The majority of information on the pro-truth Mormon websites comes from the Tanners. MormonThink references their work in almost every significant topic. Episodes 472-475

 

Dan Vogel video on Book of Mormon translation. - 6/3/14

Eyewitness testimony confirms that Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon in the same manner that he once hunted for buried treasure: that is, with his brown-colored seer stone placed in the crown of his white top hat and his face snug to its brim. Rather than seeing treasures in the bowels of the earth, Smith claimed he saw luminous words on the stone, which he read to a scribe. In this manner the entire Book of Mormon as we have it came into existence. This fact conflicts with Joseph Smith’s official history, which claims that he used magic spectacles—which he euphemistically called Urim and Thummim—attached to a breastplate. This video examines the historical sources and responds to recent apologetic attempts to reconcile this problem.

Joseph Smith's Magic Spectacles - Dan Vogel

ALSO, the video and the complete text to the video has been added to MormonThink's response to the Church essay on the BOM translation.


 

Response to the Church essay on "Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints" - 5/25/14

MormonThink has posted its response to the Church essay on LDS.org called Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints

 

Response to the Church essay on "Are Mormons Christian?" - 5/25/14

MormonThink has posted its response to the Church essay on LDS.org called Are Mormons Christian?

 

Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints - 5/13/14

The Church just released the latest essay addressing troubling issues in its history. The essay is now in the topical guide of the LDS.org website. It is found here: Peace and Violence among 19th-Century Latter-day Saints

 

Response to the Church essay on 'Becoming like God' - 5/12/14

MormonThink has posted its response to the Church essay on LDS.org called 'Becoming like God'. Response to Becoming like God

 

Sacrament talk given citing issues in Church history - 4/23/14

A church member gave a rather enlightening talk in a sacrament meeting dealing with disturbing issues in LDS history and advocated the members learn more about them. Please read the talk along with MormonThink's commentary: Sacrament talk on church history - Midway 5th ward

 

Truth Is Restored Again - website - 4/16/14

"When the truth regarding our church is discovered, many people experience a degree of shock, internal turmoil, or pain." The purpose of the website is to help lessen these emotions by providing what it says is "a gentle awakening for the sincere seeker of truth." Besides the section labeled "Gentle Awakening" that covers many aspects which trouble members, the section "How to Validate Sources" is something every truth seeker should read. Link to Truth Is Restored Again.

 

New Managing Editor - 3/27/14

MormonThink is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Managing Editor, Scott Carles. Tom Phillips, who served as M.E. for the last 15 months has decided to pass the baton as he enjoys retirement in Algarve, Portugal. We thank Tom for his help, especially with sharing the truly, fascinating story of his Second Anointing which few members are aware still exists.

You can read about Scott and his plans for MormonThink.com here.

 

Dan Vogel video on Joseph Smith - 3/26/14

Award-winning author Dan Vogel updated his original video "The Prophet Puzzle". This video is based on a paper delivered at the Mormon History Association in Snowbird, Utah, 18 May 1996.

Watch “Joseph Smith’s Motives – The Prophet Puzzle”

 

Response to the Church essay on plural marriage - 3/21/14

MormonThink has posted its response to the Church essay on LDS.org called 'Plural Marriage and Families in Early Utah'. Our response is here: Plural Marriage - Response to LDS.org

 

In Defense of the Prophet Noah and the Great Flood - 3/13/14

The LDS Meridian Magazine defends the story of Noah and the Great Flood as a true, historic event as the LDS Church has always taught. Please read their enlightening explanations for why this story appears to contradict science. http://www.ldsmag.com/article/1/14059

 

Dan Vogel videos on the Anthon Manuscript - 2/28/14

Award-winning author Dan Vogel made a 3-part set of youtube videos on the Anthon manuscript. The Anthon Manuscript is said to contain actual characters from the book of Mormon. If they could be verified as ancient writings as Professor Charles Anthon reportedly did in 1828, then this could give enormous scientific evidence for the historical claims of the Book of Mormon. Watching the videos really helps the viewer understand what the issues are and what likely happened. It is by far the most comprehensive video set on the subject.

Link to: Dan Vogel videos on the Anthon Manuscript

 

 

For other stories, see What's new? and Latest News on Mormonism