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Are Mormons Giving Me the Silent Treatment?

September 13, 2008

Ever since I have started studying Mormonism and trying to understand how and why Mormons believe what they do, I have been frustrated with the lack of answers I get from Mormons on my honest questions. Lately, I’ve been getting what I feel equates to a silent treatment.

  • An LDS person told me recently in an email that he had “enormous amounts of historical and archaeological evidence” for the Book of Mormon. When I replied and asked him for this evidence, he did not respond and quit emailing me.
  • An LDS visiting teacher provided me a handout to support her belief in the Book of Mormon which included such claims as “thorough investigation, scientific evidence, and archaeological discoveries” have proven “even the minutest details” of the Book of Mormon to be “perfectly true. ”  When I asked for some evidence to support these astounding claims in the un-referenced handout, she told me it would take a couple of weeks to do some research and respond. It’s been over 4 weeks and I am still waiting…
  • When I brought up the Book of Mormon passages on repentance with a couple of bloggers online, one of them did not respond (someone on this blog), the other one left the blog where we had been having our discussion and told me I mis-understood how the Mormons interpret these passages, but she said it would take too long to explain to me how I mis-understood.

I just have some honest questions for Mormons and I don’t feel I am getting the same treatment that I give out when people ask me honest questions or have doubts about what I believe.

The other day my co-worker told me she had doubts that the New Testament could be trusted because she thought maybe a group of men had gotten together in the 1st or 2nd century and “re-wrote” the Bible. So, I provided her with some evidence to support my belief that the Bible has not been re-written.

What she does with this information is of course up to her, but I responded to an honest questioning of my beliefs with “a reason” (I Peter 3:15).

Isn’t that what we are supposed to do when someone questions us about what we believe?

Why am I not getting the same treatment when I ask Mormons some honest questions on issues that make me doubt what they believe?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 15, 2008 1:28 pm

    To be honest, you don’t get a reply because they don’t have one. Only a small number of LDS actually know their doctrine and history enough to respond to such questions. The majority of them believe what they are told and sincerely see no need to doubt their leaders. If they say there is ample evidence of the Book of Mormon, they believe it, not having actually seen that evidence for themselves. When you ask for this information, they don’t have it or even know where the leader got it from. Objectively looking at information is not something they do. They see what they are told to see without even entertaining the idea that it could be incomplete or wrong.

    They do not know what to do when their beliefs are honestly challenged and I’m sure that if they asked a Bishop or other leader what to do or where to find the information, they are told not to get involved with “anti-mormons” and not to worry. “All is well in Zion!”

  2. September 15, 2008 6:05 pm

    Hey Douglas!

    Thanks for your comment and explanation. It’s been really weird for me trying to understand this aspect of discussion with Mormons because I was trained that, as Christians, we are to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15) and I learned to think critically over the years and to interact with various belief systems in a logical, reasoning way.

    We may arrive at different conclusions in the end, but there are rational, objective evidences to consider when evaluating any system of thought.

    I’m not used to conversations that frequently end in an LDS person avoiding the objective evidences or honest questions and relying on their subjective evidence of a feeling. I have always been taught that feelings are not a reliable source for finding truth.

    Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

    I had a very strong feeling once that I had met the person God had for me to marry, but as I got to know this person and examined his character, personality, and beliefs I came to see that we were not at all a good match for each other. I’m sure glad I didn’t rely on that first “feeling” I had in spite of the objective evidences that later surfaced.

  3. April 17, 2009 3:25 pm

    I realize this discussion took place a while back, but I would LOVE to discuss these things with you.

    The person who commented above is right in SOME ways. Many LDS folks just don’t know the answers. Although I disagree with the above comment because MANY Mormons do infact study on there own AND are encouraged by church leaders to always seek truth and knowledge. We are asked to read scriptures everyday, both privately and with family. We go to church for THREE hours every Sunday. Also members give “talks” and most hold a teaching calling. I would say, in my experiences, the majority of Mormons are much more knowledgeable then your average Christian. (Although I must say I believe Mormons are Christian also!)

    There is so much to learn. I myself am a convert, I joined the church 4 years ago. Even with constant study I am still just scratching the surface. But I believe we are ever learning and I do not feel ANYONE will have a full and complete knowledge of all things until they die and stand before God.

    If you have any questions I would LOVE to answer them (if I know the answers)

  4. Tom permalink
    April 17, 2009 4:27 pm

    Steffielynn – great to see you over here. I admire your strength and zeal as a relatively new member of the LDS Church (I’ve read a bit of your blog) 🙂

  5. April 17, 2009 5:33 pm

    Jessica,

    I ran into this problem when I was studying the history of the LDS Church and heavily comparing the doctrine to that of The BIble. It was a horrible time for me as I had fully believed the LDS Church was true and doubting caused me much pain. I met with the Bishop numerous times, the Stake President, one of his councilors, talked with members and even spent a few months conversing with a scholar at Farms via e-mail. I presented tough questions about the lack of evidence for the BOM, conflicts between the history taught in church and the non-sanitized version, etc, etc. To be honest, most people I spoke with…

    1. Had no idea about the information I was asking about (some even got scared to talk with me b/c they considered it the dreaded anti-mormon material)

    or

    2. Gave no answers and simply told me to “have faith”

    Farms provided some information but I did not agree with their answers. Their responses seemed to be REALLY reaching or nothing more than mere obfuscations. The one that cracks me up the most is the “war-deer” hypothesis. JS really meant to say deer in the BOM b/c we know horses did not exist in Meso-America. Imagine a man riding a deer into battle. 🙂

    In the end, as you know, I decided to come to Christ. I believe God has told us to love Him with all our “hearts, MINDS and souls” and any religion that requires me to set aside my mind will not do.

    God Bless!!

    Darrell

  6. April 17, 2009 5:35 pm

    Honestly, I think modern science and archeology has no real basis for concluding there were no horses in pre-Columbian America.

  7. April 17, 2009 7:56 pm

    Seth,

    What leads you to this conclusion?

    Darrell

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