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This web page is dedicated to the accomplishments of Tom Phillips and his dealings with the Mormon Church.
Who is Tom Phillips?
Tom Phillips was a stake president in England. He also received the second anointing ordinance.
Tom Phillips is a retired management consultant. He joined the Church as a convert in 1969 and served in most leadership positions including Bishop, Stake President and Area Executive Secretary. He also served as the Area Controller for the British Isles and Africa as well as the Financial Director for the Church's U.K. corporate entities.
Former managing editor of MormonThink
In late 2012, Tom took over as the managing editor of MormonThink and continued until March 2014. The last two managing editors resigned from the church after the LDS leadership called them to church courts for writing about church history and doctrine, as well as being involved with the MormonThink website.
Tom's extensive leadership experience within the LDS Church is impressive, making him very qualified to speak to the issues.
Tom writes: "I hope to be able to continue the good work that MormonThink has done thus far in spreading forth knowledge about Mormonism's unique history that few members know about. I want every faithful member, as well as critic, to know that their viewpoints are always welcome at MormonThink, even if they are not in harmony with what is generally taught in the LDS chapels. I hope others can benefit from my story and experiences within the LDS environment".
Podcast - Tom's four hour podcast on John Dehlin's mormonstories - you can also download the PDF Transcript of the podcast.
Radio Interview - Drew Marshall radio Show with Tom Phillips and Tal Bachman
Letter Exchanges - Between Tom and Apostle Jeffrey Holland
More Letter Exchanges - Response to Elder Holland's reply
There already exist sources of details of the second anointing and I probably will not add to that body of knowledge. However, I am posting this account to confirm the ordinance does actually take place currently, as I have received the ordinance, and how it is currently performed.
This was a very moving and personal experience for us as a couple and we both ended in tears of great joy.
He then anointed Sister Vilate Kimble a queen and Priestess unto her Husband [H. C. Kimball] in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints & in Iseral. & pronounced all the blessings upon her head in common with her husband.
Although it has been rumored by many members that the second anointing ordinances are still practiced, it has been mostly speculation and second-hand accounts. But now, a former stake president has come forward with his story and provides a first-hand account of his second anointing.
In 2012, former stake president Thomas Phillips went public and was a guest on the mormonstories podcasts by John Dehlin. He gave an account of the second anointing. performed by the highest leaders of the church for both Thomas and his wife. He also said that afterwards he was asked to recommend other couples for the ordinance but to keep it quiet and not to discuss that he and his wife had received their second anointing. Apparently the practice is more widespread than most members know as the ordinance is not limited to General Authorities as Brother Phillips was an Area Executive Secretary when he received his second anointing.
The mormonstories podcast featuring Thomas Phillips is very interesting and one of the best we've heard. It is over 4 hours but filled with very interesting information and not 'anti-Mormon' at all but reveals the struggle a faithful, high-ranking church leader has had and continues to have after learning about many problematic issues of church history and doctrinal beliefs.
Note: John Dehlin of mormonstories elected to not air the interview due to pressure from the Church, however Tom Phillips decided that he would make it available himself. This is the unedited 4+ hr version provided by Brother Phillips.
Available for download at the following websites:
I have written an ebook entitled "Romney's Religion" The Man Who Would be God. The overview and contents can be read for free. It includes a chapter on the second anointing and Mitt becoming a polygamous God.
The gdrive pdf link: (free download)
Tom Phillips and Tal Bachman were guests on the Drew Marshall radio show on November 3rd. They discussed a lot of Mormon topics including second anointing, becoming gods, MMM and Mitt's consecration of U.S. Presidency to the Mormon Church.
Listen to it here: http://www.drewmarshall.ca/listen2012.html#121103 (note: click on the link below the paragraph on Tal Bachman).
I was overwhelmed with the responses I received to the John Dehlin podcast. I couldn't believe so many of you would listen to nearly 5 hours of the unedited interview.
Another video: Mitt Romney The Man Who Would Be God
My letter to Elder Holland re Book of Mormon (very long)
by Tom Phillips (Anointed One) - Taken from RFM post from May 2012
Color-coded PDF file of the letters.
Here is a copy of letter I sent with specific questions regarding his proclamation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon
[RFM Admin Note] The author of this article, "The Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon", also wrote about the second anointing. It can be read at The Second Anointing. A personal experience. A look into the inside of one of the secrets of the Mormon Church.
2nd May 2012 Thomas Phillips
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Dear Elder Holland,
Truthfulness of The Book of Mormon
After you set me apart as stake president, you said “Tom, now we are sealed”. I know you did not mean that literally, but I took it as a compliment and great honour to have a close association with you. Throughout the years my family and I have held you in great esteem.
Two letters you wrote to me are kept in a special file and in my ‘heart'. One letter iterated your admiration and appreciation of my son, Alan, and his effect on your son, Duff. As a proud parent I have retained this letter. The other letter was complimenting me on the way in which, as stake president, I dealt with apostates within my stake.
I mention these 2 letters to remind you of our association and the mutual love and respect we have shared. I have been a defender of the faith and greatly inspired by you. In fact I have used your ‘sudden death' argument regarding the Book of Mormon many times in the past. (See Note 1).
A few years ago I studied a certain aspect of science so that I could better explain to any investigator who was a scientist an important, true doctrine of the Book of Mormon that seemed to conflict with established science. At the time I had no doubt whatsoever of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon (and the Church) so my studies were to understand the flaws in the scientific methodology. Then, I would be in a position to help an investigator overcome this ‘scientific hurdle' and know God's truth. The results of studying, pondering, fasting and praying were that the scientific methodology was sound and the fault was in that taught in the Book of Mormon (no death before the fall of Adam approximately 6,000 years ago). That led me to a study of other issues with the Book of Mormon and Church history which clearly showed a number of falsities.
Applying your ‘sudden death' challenge therefore could only lead to one conclusion, it was a fraud (your words – it is either true or a fraud). I had meetings with Elder Harold G. Hillam and later with Elder Gerald N. Lund. They both gave opposite and conflicting answers that confirmed to me the Church was not true.
The purpose of this letter is to seek your help, as we are ‘sealed', in resolving a conflict of eternal consequence to my family who still believe the Church is true. You are possibly aware of Alan's position as a stake president. I accept your ‘sudden death' option in that the Book of Mormon is either true, as Joseph Smith declared it, or it is a fraud. You are on public record (‘Safety for the Soul' talk at General Conference October 2009 and posted on ‘youtube') vigorously defending the claim of its truthfulness and, in fact, deriding those who think otherwise (including me). We cannot both be right on this issue. Either you are right or I am, there appears to be no middle ground or ‘third way'. My family listen to you and others of the Brethren, holding you all in the highest of esteem. As taught and encouraged by the Church they refuse to discuss the issues with me but only wish to bear their testimony. They have not sought to correct any misunderstandings I may have, thereby reclaiming a ‘lost sheep', but choose to ignore the ‘elephant in the room'. I always believed the Church could bear any scrutiny as it was the one and only true church on the face of the earth.
Just as you suggest a “sudden death” position regarding The Book of Mormon, I see a “sudden death” either/or question for my situation. Either I am wrong, in which case please address my issues and demonstrate where I am wrong. I would love to be shown that I am wrong, having invested so much of my life in The Church. Or, I am right, in which case please acknowledge that fact to my family.
So, my request to you Elder Holland is to either
1. Demonstrate to me that the Book of Mormon is true by answering and refuting the ‘evidences' against its truthfulness mentioned later in this letter ( you claim in your talk it has not been proven false in over 179 years) or
2. Admit, for the benefit of my family and hosts of others, it is (in your words) a fraud or
3. At least admit there were errors in your talk (you specify which ones) and apologise to genuine truth seekers regarding the offensive comments you made that they would have to ‘crawl over...etc.'
"If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit."
Whichever of these 3 you choose to do, will help not only myself but countless others by confirming the truth of the Book of Mormon or admitting it is a work of fiction (however and by whom written). Please do not ignore this request, as it goes to the very heart of the matter of the Church's veracity. A matter I would assume someone of your moral and academic stature would deem of vital importance. Why would you say something that is not true? I am not an angry ‘anti-Mormon', I am pro truth. I served diligently in the Church because I honestly believed (‘knew') it to be true. Once I found out otherwise I could not, as encouraged by Church leaders, just continue in the faith so that I could keep my family. I could not live a lie.
This request is made to you because of our personal relationship and also because you have publicly defended the Book of Mormon in General Conference which has been broadcast internationally by the Church and also been featured on ‘youtube' and ‘The Ensign'.
First permit me to outline the evidences I have discovered that point to the Book of Mormon not being true, or the Word of God . As stated previously, I would appreciate your comments on/refutation of these items, not as an “apologist” but as a truth seeker (whichever way that falls). These are only outline points for the purpose of brevity in this letter. I do not include all that would be included in a paper on such a topic because I assume you are already very familiar with the issues and the answers given by apologists.
Secondly, I list certain quotes from your talk which appear to me to be incorrect. Again I seek your comments/refutation.
Evidences the Book of Mormon is not True
1. 2 Nephi 2:22 and Alma 12:23,24 state there was no death of any kind (humans, all animals, birds, fish etc.) on this earth until the ‘Fall of Adam' which, according to Doctrine and Covenants section 77:6,7 occurred approximately 6,000 years ago. This is obviously false as it is scientifically established there has been life and death on this planet for billions of years. (See Note 2).
2. The Book of Mormon purports to tell the true origins of the American Indian, descendants of Lehi and his family who left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. Anthropologists have maintained for decades that the American Indians came to North America via the Bering Strait some 15,000 – 30, 000 years ago. Recent DNA studies have conclusively proven the American Indians are not descendents of Lehi and his family. Yes, I am aware of BYU professors who ‘play loose' with DNA studies in order to defend the Book of Mormon. They also re-invent the Church's teachings regarding the American Indian (flying in the face of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor through to at least Spencer W. Kimball and the Lord Himself in D&C section 54:8 and others) offering a limited geography theory etc.. I understand the title page to the Book of Mormon has even been amended in this regard in recent years. (See Note 4).
3. Archaeology – there is absolutely no evidence of the Nephites and Lamanites who numbered in the millions according to the Book of Mormon. Contrast this with the Roman occupation of Britain (and other countries). Having lived in England, as well as your frequent visits and reading, you will be aware of abundant evidence the Romans were there during the first 400 years A.D. e.g. villas, mosaic floors, public baths , coins, armour, weapons, writings, art, pottery etc. etc. Even the major road system used today was originally built by the Romans (A1, A2, A4 etc. now with motorways added). Why are there no Nephite buildings, roads, coins, armour, pottery, art etc. Again, the Book of Mormon teaches a period of peace and prosperity lasting about 200 years after Jesus Christ visited the American Continent. Where are the temples etc? Where is the evidence of the 2 million + who died in battles at Hill Cumorah? No bones, chariots, swords, coins, armour, hair? Surely, if it happened it would be easy for archaeologists to find evidence in Palmyra. But then apologists wish to say Cumorah was somewhere else, yet to be discovered. It seems Joseph Smith did not understand the 2 Cumorahs, neither has it been mentioned in decades of pageants put on by the Church at ‘Hill Cumorah' in upstate New York. There is ample evidence of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations as well as a civilization in current day Texas that dates back 15,000 years. Why no Nephite or Lamanite evidence? Indeed, not only is there no positive evidence for them there is evidence to confirm that certain things, mentioned in the Book of Mormon pertaining to them, were not even on the American continent at the time (e.g. horses, chariots, steel etc.). (See Note 3).
4. Book of Abraham – I mention this as evidence against the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon as an example of the ‘modus operandi' of Joseph Smith. The arguments of your apologists (e.g. Hugh Nibley and Michael D. Rhodes) to defend the Book of Abraham are an insult to intelligence and certainly would not stand up to peer review by recognised Egyptologists. The Church has had parts of the papyri since, I think, 1967 and they have been translated by Egyptologists. They are no more than magical funerary texts, often buried with the dead, and nothing to do with the purported translation by Joseph Smith. If he lied about the Book of Abraham is it not conceivable he lied about the Book of Mormon? Also, pertinent to this point, is the fact that Joseph lied about (denied) his plural wives and the allegations made by the ‘Nauvoo Expositor' which turned out to be true. Other evidence of Joseph's modus operandi re translation projects are the ‘Greek Psalter' and ‘Kinderhook Plates' incidents. (See Note 5).
5. Changing skin colour – the Lamanites were cursed by the Lord with a skin of darkness (blackness) because of their sins and so that they would not be attractive to the Nephites. On some occasions, when Lamanites converted and became righteous their skin became whiter. This doctrine was commented on in recent times by President Spencer W. Kimball who noted the lightening of the skins of ‘Lamanites' (American Indians and Polynesians) in one of his talks. Now I ask you is this the ‘word of God'? Did God use skin colour as a differentiator? Of course he did you may say, he did it with Cain and his descendents. So the racist teachings of Brigham Young etc. have their foundation in the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith's understanding of the book of Genesis. According to science, skin colour is a product of genetics and climate on pigmentation of the skin. Any white person can become dark by sunbathing but the colour change is not permanent. A black person does not become white by being righteous, how offensive, how insulting, how racist. If it is possible (and ethical) to change the colour of a person's skin in an instant (and then change it back when they become righteous) then it would indicate the Book of Mormon is true in this regard. However, I am of the opinion that any educated, ethical person would consider this doctrine untrue/false. Please explain to me how this doctrine can be true rather than misinformed 19th century thinking. "And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them." (2 Nephi 5:21).
6. Other ‘true doctrines' of the Church, taken from the Book of Mormon and/or the Doctrine and Covenants ,that are proven false by science include the following (a) all humans alive today are not the descendants of just 2 people (Adam and Eve) who lived (came from the Garden of Eden) approximately 6,000 years ago neither are they the descendants of just one man (Noah) about 4,500 years ago (b) there was no world-wide flood of the earth about 4,500 years ago (c) different languages did not arise in the manner described regarding the Tower of Babel (per Bible and Book of Mormon) (d) the human race did not start in what is now the state of Missouri (D&C 116:1) then migrate to the Middle East in consequence of a universal flooding of the earth. From the Encyclopedia of Mormonism “It wasn't until May 1838 that revelation (D&C 116) identified Adam-ondi-Ahman, a site near the Garden of Eden, to be in Daviess County, Missouri, some seventy miles from present-day Kansas City. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., New York City: Macmillan, 1992, 1:19–20.)”
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." John Adams Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials'. December 1770
“The problem Mormonism encounters is that so many of its claims are well within the realm of scientific study, and as such, can be proven or disproven. To cling to faith in these areas, where the overwhelming evidence is against you, is wilful ignorance, not spiritual dedication.”
Evidence the Book of Mormon is True
Here are some specific quotes from your talk, which I take as your arguments for the Book of Mormon's truthfulness, with my comments/questions added in italics :
‘Safety for the Soul' Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world . . . that the Book of Mormon is true. In what respects is it true? It is not true according to scientific laws, anthropology, zoology, metallurgy, chemistry, physics, biology, linguistics, history, archaeology etc. Why would you say something that is not true?
The Savior warned that in the last days even those of the covenant, the very elect, could be deceived by the enemy of truth. The Book of Mormon itself is an enemy of truth if it declares things as true which are, in fact, false e.g. no death of any kind prior to 6,000 years ago (Book of Mormon actually states “fall of Adam” but Doctrine and Covenants section 77 places this at approximately 6,000 years ago); horses, steel etc. on American continent at time they were absent; origin of the American Indians etc. Please explain how I have been deceived and by whom.
As one of a thousand elements of my own testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon, I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness - you do not mention the other 999 elements, only the following which appears to be untrue :
They were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Untrue, they did not die for their faith. They were killed in a gun battle , Joseph shot at men and, according to President John Taylor, 2 of the men Joseph shot died. They were incarcerated because of Joseph's reprehensible behaviour and alleged crimes such as having a printing press destroyed (treason? – free speech) which he claimed had published lies about him that were, in fact true; that he practised and taught polygamy including with 14 year old girls and women already married (polyandry); was setting up a theocratic government etc. Why do you not defend the likes of William Law who, having tried to change Joseph's reprehensible behaviour, published the truth and was demonized by Joseph and the Church as a result. I believe the charges against Joseph were (1) inciting a riot and (2) treason against the State of Illinois At no time, am I aware, were Joseph and Hyrum offered the choice of saving their lives” if they deny the divine origin and the eternal truthfulness of the Book of Mormon”. What is your source for this idea? Please give evidence to support your statement or admit it is false.
Did the State of Illinois or the jailers give Joseph Smith the opportunity to denounce his religious claims and be freed? No. So he was not a martyr. He did not die for his religious beliefs.
For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Where does it stand? Is it used in American history classes or used by those studying American history? No, it has been extensively proven false by many. If it still stands it should be easy for you to satisfactorily explain the issues I raised above as evidences that it is not true.
None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. Completely untrue, the one answer Joseph gave is the most absurd and the only one lacking in any real evidence except the “burning in the bosom” which is the same evidence for the truthfulness of the Quran, Hinduism, Scientology and thousands of other beliefs/traditions/fortune telling which totally oppose the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon has been shown to be a work of fiction by many credible authors and is viewed as such by the Smithsonian Institute. Otherwise scholars of American history would readily use the book for their work. Again, answer my issues if I am incorrect.
Your use of the word ‘pathetic' is rather disturbing. In what way are other suggestions as to the origin of the Book of Mormon and, by inference, my questions, ‘pathetic? Ethan Smith's “A View of the Hebrews” could be a source, as agreed by Elder B.H. Roberts. The King James translation of the Bible has certainly been used/copied verbatim (including errors in that translation) as well as common 19th century themes prevalent in upstate New York. Please explain why you used the derogatory word ‘pathetic'.
“No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” This argument could be used to prove The Quran true. Also Ethan Smith's “A View of the Hebrews” Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy and Rowling's Harry Potter books.
If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit.
How offensive a statement! Without giving any evidence in your talk that the book is true, other than a misleading statement and innuendo that Joseph and Hyrum gave their lives for it, you say I (yes me, Thomas William Phillips) have been deceived and if I leave this Church i must do so by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon..If this is so, please answer my issues so that I may know in what facts I have been deceived and the identity of my deceiver(s).
After meeting with 2 General Authorities of the Church, who each gave me opposite answers, I have concluded that they and you are deceived and to believe in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon you all have to crawl over or under or around the facts and evidences of physics, chemistry, biology, genetics, geology, anthropology, linguistics, zoology, paleontology, archaeology, metallurgy, history etc. If my conclusion is wrong please correct me by explaining the fallacy of my logic and by whom I have, in your words, been deceived. Did Elder Hillam deceive me in stating “of course there has been death on this planet for billions of years” or Elder Lund by stating” the scientists are wrong, there has been no death prior to approximately 6,000 years ago. Carbon dating is incorrect.”? Which of these 2 General Authorities has tried to deceive me? Did the academics in the fields mentioned above deceive me? Have they been deceived by Satan into teaching that which is not true in spite of the fact they can demonstrate/prove the conclusions of their research?
You also state that the likes of me are “foolish” and “misled” – please explain in what way(s) I am foolish and misled. Why do you use such offensive and unsubstantiated language? If I am foolish and misled you should easily be able to demonstrate that in which I am foolish and misled and by whom I have been misled.
Elder Holland, I am writing to you in this way as a ‘sudden death' (your words) type of plea. I have been through the appropriate Church channels to resolve my concerns but each of those Priesthood Leaders have merely confirmed to me that the Book of Mormon (and hence, following on from your specific challenge, the Church) is not true. My final plea is to you as an Apostle and public defender of the Book of Mormon. The apologists I have been referred to actually admit the truth of my concerns but try to re-define church doctrine and scripture, contrary to that clearly taught by the Brethren. An example of the answers I have been given by Priesthood Leaders are in Note 6.
As your declarations on the Book of Mormon and derision of those, such as myself, have been made so public (General Conference broadcast throughout the world, Ensign magazine and ‘youtube') I will be publishing this letter on two or more bulletin boards. I will also publish your reply to this letter so that all sides of the issues may be fairly represented.
So, my request to you Elder Holland is to either
1. Demonstrate to me that the Book of Mormon is true by answering and refuting the ‘evidences' against its truthfulness mentioned above ( you claim in your talk it has not been proven false in over 179 years) or
2. Admit, for the benefit of my family and hosts of others, it is (in your words) a fraud or
3. At least admit there were errors in your talk (you specify which ones) and apologise to genuine truth seekers regarding the offensive comments you made that they would have to ‘crawl over...etc.'
Thank you for reading this letter and taking the time to respond. As mentioned at the beginning, I and my family have long admired and respected you. Copies of this letter are being sent to my immediate family who are all currently active members of the Church.
Notes referenced in this letter
Note 1 – “Sudden Death” Proposition re Book of Mormon
Note 2 No Death before 6k years ago is a doctrine of the Church
Note 3 – Archaeology and the Book of Mormon
Note 4 – American Indians are ‘Lamanites'
Note 5 – The Book of Abraham a translation of some papyri
Note 6 – Answers from my Priesthood Leaders
NOTE: There is an excellent deconstruction of Holland's talk on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O57HTriXrIY
JRH Response and my reply
NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.
This may, however, be a “corporate” notice and not intended by Elder Holland. If, so my apologies for calling him a coward and a bully. It is only his church that is a coward and bully.
I shall, however, publish my response to him and permit him and his church to copy and forward it as often as they like provided it is copied in its entirety and is in no way misrepresented nor used to misrepresent me. In my response I will have to, necessarily, quote from his email but I will do my utmost to protect private information such as the references he makes to my wife and his wife (including stating her whereabouts at a certain time – shame on you Jeff).
You absolutely amazed me with your email. You are a highly educated, articulate and well read person with a PhD from Yale. Yet, you do not address one issue in my letter. Instead, you sent me a mindless rant. I was caught off guard. No way could I have imagined such a response. I expected you to justify your claims (such as Joseph Smith gave his life because he was not willing to deny the Book of Mormon) and refute the facts I put to you as evidence the Book of Mormon was not true.
I assumed you would honour your “sudden death” challenge that you have so often used. That it, the Book of Mormon, is either true or it is a fraud, there is no middle way. I would put it another way, it is either the word of God, as claimed by you, or it is a work of fiction put together by an author or authors in the nineteenth century. I believe my letter explains why I consider it to be the latter. Where is your refutation of such an opinion and justification for public statements you have made concerning its truthfulness? If you could not do this I expected a kindly brush off type of reply, not a rant full of logical fallacies, ad hominem attacks and insinuations.
I tried to defend your reputation when people were calling you a “dodo” and a liar. No, he's not like that, the Elder Holland I knew, loved and respected. Well, it seems you have proven me wrong in that respect. I recently watched your interview with Mr. Sweeney for a BBC programme entitled “The Mormon Candidate” and I could not believe your attempts at lying. Jeff, you are supposed to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why lie to a reporter? Oh, I forgot, that is perfectly acceptable since Gordon B. Hinckley did it with Larry King, Mike Wallace etc.
Why not just answer my specific questions? I am sure, with your vast knowledge and experience, it would have taken less time than your mindless rant against me. You could have even handed it over to a BYU professor or another of your minions to draft a reply. You need only have taken the time to sign (even that could have been done by a signature machine or, in fact an email response could have been sent under your name without you even seeing it). That would have saved you time and the so called pain I have inflicted upon you. Get over it, If I have caused you pain by reminding you the church is not true, that is not my fault. The cause of your pain lies with you and the church.
Why do you feel pain and how have I caused that pain? I wrote respectfully to you and asked questions based on factual information. Why should that cause you pain?
Firstly some of the “stuff” I sent you was not available when you were 25 years old e.g. DNA studies confirming origins of American Indians, Book of Abraham papyri ( 1967 I believe) etc. Also, if you figured out the answers when you were 25 (you are now 70+) it should be easy for you to answer my questions, if there were any credible answers. So, why weep over me? If I am wrong in my facts or conclusions, show me in a loving way. Don't refuse to address the issues and scold me for causing you pain. I suggest your pain comes from a lifetime of trying to be a valiant defender of that which indefensible.
All I asked was how such a book, being the word of God, could contain so many falsities which you refuse to answer.
Yes, I will reply even though you refuse to reply to my questions.
You know perfectly well I have had thousands of so called spiritual experiences. In my opinion they are equal to any of those that Joseph Smith had.
Every day of my life (perhaps even every waking hour) I experience joy in the wonders and beauty of this planet and those people I love. By the way, weeping during a public address is not a “spiritual experience” it is an emotional experience
Logical fallacy Dr. Holland? As well as being untrue.
What views? I have merely stated factual information from either church or school sources. They are not my views but those of so called prophets, seers and revelators and academic experts in specific disciplines. My family's response is exactly the same as yours. They refuse to answer or discuss the issues and hurl personal insults against me. My ‘sweet angel' of a wife, as you call her, has repeatedly said it would have been better for her if I had died while a faithful member of the church rather than live to ‘lose my faith'. My son Alan is the only one who eventually made known his 'views' regarding some of my statements. He agreed there were errors in the Book of Mormon such as the doctrine that there was no death on this planet prior to 6,000 years ago; that Joseph Smith was wrong (i.e. not commanded by God) to have more than one wife; that the church is wrong to campaign against same sex marriage (this was during the California proposition 8 fiasco); however, he still believes Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees! Alan. As you know, is a stake president and has views (the first 3 of the 4 I mentioned) that are in direct opposition to the church. Of course, from the pulpit he will toe the party line.
My views, if I were permitted to explain them, would help my family considerably and stop grandchildren being brainwashed into believing something which “you know ain't so” in the words of Samuel Clemens / Mark Twain with whom you are familiar through your post graduate work. My views would help them be more compassionate of others, less judgemental and use their time to genuinely help others instead of promoting the aims of a church based on a fictional book. By contrast, by following and adopting the views of your church they ought to be (but fortunately are not) racist, homophobic, misogynistic, hate the Catholic Church (whore of the Earth per Book of Mormon), hate Protestant churches ((the Lord told Joseph Smith their creeds were an abomination to Him per JS History), anti Semitic (Mormons teach that the inhabitants of this earth and particularly the Jews are the only people who would have killed the Son of God). I could specify many other groups the church is intolerant toward despite your protestations to the contrary. Even in my own case your views are nasty and intolerant. According to church literature if someone like me who, as you know, has received the Second Anointing (made my exaltation basically unconditional) ,denies the Holy Ghost (interpreted as denying the church is true) they will be sons of perdition, cast out into outer darkness with Satan and his followers. Whereas, a man such as Adolf Hitler can inherit the Telestial Kingdom, still a kingdom of glory. So a man who kills 6 million Jews and countless others gets a better reward in the next life than I do according to Mormon theology (if there is such a thing). Does that sound like a just, loving God to you? No wonder there is shunning in the Mormon Church.
Yes, those that do are much happier and grateful to me for whatever small measure of help I have been to them. If you are referring to my family, however, well I have already told you that they have refused to take my lead in trying to establish what is true. Truth obviously means nothing to a true, devout Mormon!
I am not trying to convince anyone. I merely wrote to you outlining specific information which appeared to contradict your claim/declaration that the Book of Mormon is true. You have chosen not to answer any of those evidences and resort to a personal attack on me. Who are you trying to convince? It would be easy to convince me if you had credible answers, but you don't. Are you content with convincing gullible church members who dote on your every word? Or, are you trying to convince yourself Jeff? Methinks this may be the case and would certainly explain your outbursts.
Why is your heart broken? If it is out of concern for me why not lovingly and kindly correct my misconceptions if there are any? If it is because I have challenged your beliefs, you need to examine them. If they are based on truth you will be able to explain that to me as I am not a “dodo”. Why do you wish you hadn't begun? Do I not deserve a reply? Of course, you haven't even replied to the issues in my letter merely attacked me and ranted.
But you are wrong. You are exactly the right man for this task. You are the one who has spoken on television, written books and articles and declared solemnly to the world that you KNOW the Book of Mormon is true. Also, from an academic point of view did you not gain a master's degree for a dissertation on changes to the Book of Mormon? Weren't your Yale master's and doctorate degrees on American Studies? Are you not, as an Apostle, a special witness of Jesus Christ? You are the very man to give me credible answers. You must know the truth so why don't you share it instead of resorting to emotion filled drivel?
Millions of young men have had their lives dramatically changed by reading the Qur'an, the writings of Confucius, of Marcus Aurelius, of Plato, Aristotle, “Harry Potter”, the writings of Karl Marx, the writings of Mao Zedong, also translated as Mao Tse-tung and thousands of other books.
I know a couple of Christian evangelists who were both alcoholics and had their lives transformed by the Bible. They now spend all their time spreading their Christian beliefs. They have been told by the Holy Ghost the Book of Mormon is not from God and Mormons are not Christian. They could claim the truthfulness of their beliefs by your same argument, a book changed their lives that no other book can (including the Book of Mormon).
Again you amaze me with such a statement. When and how precisely did this go “light years beyond science and history”. Jeff, you are either deliberately holding back information vital for mankind to understand the true nature of this planet and the universe or you are blowing smoke in the air. Which is it? Do you have knowledge our scientists would die for or are you mad?
I see no evidence in your email nor in your works that you love me. You have refused to help and tried to blame me for some mysterious pain you feel, and you deride me. Which god will you pray to? The one depicted in a facsimile in the Book of Abraham who Joseph Smith said was God sitting on His throne. The figure has an erect penis which is rather a disturbing image of someone you pray to. It is, of course, quite normal if you understand the truth about the image, that it is a fictitious Egyptian fertility god. Don't bother Jeff, I desire no supplication to such a being.
How offensive! You are saying I am in a worse condition than a man dying of cancer. Have you gone completely mad? How can you say, let alone think, such a thing? I am so sorry for that man, for anyone suffering a terminal illness, particularly a painful one. I have witnessed many friends and family going through such agony. How cruel and offensive of you to say such a thing!. I am in remarkably good health and associate with friends who love me. I consider myself very blessed or fortunate and would hate to have any illness let alone a terminal one which, I understand, could happen to any of us. How awful of you, I cannot believe you capable of such a thought. You certainly are not the man I considered you to be and, in no way, do you demonstrate the compassion you profess that Jesus Christ taught.
Also, here are some related discussion board threads on the subject:
MT Comment: Many non-LDS do not understand or agree with the concept of the second anointing. The second anointing essentially judges a persons' worthiness and purportedly guarantees that person entrance into the highest degree of heaven regardless of how they live their lives afterwards (the only reason a person having received the second anointing can fail to receive their exaltation in the next life is to shed innocent blood according to D&C 132). The first issue is How can mortal men (even apostles) judge a man (and his wife) when judgments are believed to be done by God himself at the Judgment Bar? The second issue is what happens if these people commit serious sins after receiving their second anointings? We wonder how Tom Phillips case would be handled by God if indeed the LDS Church is true and Tom received his Second Anointing, then became an unbeliever?
More information on the second endowment
Email Tom: email@example.com