Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ex-Bishop Telling Ex-Truth

There is a former LDS bishop and his wife who left the LDS Church about seven years ago who have a radio program dedicated to attacking Mormonism.  I met them last summer in the streets of Manti, and his hubris and lack of knowledge about what he proclaimed himself to be an expert was striking to me.  He dressed as a bishop, white shirt and tie, dark suit and an (un-bishop-like) name tag.  We spoke for several minutes, and he had several strawmen arguments which focused on trying to create a false dilemma between Church leaders and a false "everybody knows" type of understanding.

He said Joseph Smith lied about his plural wives and John Taylor lied about LDS doctrine while serving in England.  He asked if I would find it proper to remain in a Church which condoned lying?  Because I didn't agree with the premise, And would not have time to define terms, I said "Maybe."  He feigned shock, and asked how could that be?  I told him him that since the Bible showed that God could lie about some things, I wasn't going to judge his servants.  He then said a couple of times and in a couple of ways, "If you can show me where God lies to someone or causes someone to lie to them at His direction, I will leave Manti and never return." (BTW, I have it all on tape.  We'll see if he keeps his word.)

Well, let me say that I don't have the entire Bible memorized, so it took me about 4-minutes or so to find the verse I had in mind.  But I did remember.  It is the story related by the prophet Michiah of God sitting in council with the hosts of heaven to find a way to punish Ahab.  A spirit steps forward and says he would put a lying spirit in the mouths of the false prophets Ahab consulted, and kill Ahab.  God agrees and then orders the lying spirit to deceive Ahab.  And it did.  Here is the critical passage:  "Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee."  (1 Kings 22:23)

I slapped him on the back, and said it had been nice seeing him, we would miss him.  It was quite late, so I started to leave.  He asked if I would want to come on his radio program, and I said he probably wouldn't let me talk, because that is his nature.  But we exchanged emails, and he sent me an invite.  I had no real interest in being on his program, but that may change.

So this past Saturday, November 21, 2015, as I was driving home from a grandchild's birthday party, I heard him and his wife on their radio program stating that their 10 phone lines are always open because Mormons cannot respond to their well documented attacks on the Church.  I had called two weeks earlier to try and discuss Mormon concepts of the Bible's value, since the New Testament is my favorite of all books in the world, and he had diverted it to a discussion about the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 17:11, where the JST describes circumcision as symbolic of children's accountability at the age of 8 years.  Baker, the anti-Mormon's last name, had asserted the JST changed the date of circumcision from 8 days to 8-years.  In fact, it does no such thing, as verse 17 clearly states male children are to be circumcised on the 8th day.  Here is a link to the Joseph Smith Papers where a photo copy of the original JST manuscript can be seen, and you can read for yourself.

So I called in, got put on hold for 12 minutes or so as the guy blathered on about the Book of Abraham, and they put me on.  I think it is about at the 32 minute mark in their online archive.  They asked me my question, so I said I had called in two weeks earlier, and we had got cut off when he threw out the passage about circumcision being changed, and I asked if he had ever read the JST, not just the excerpts from the LDS scriptures.  He danced around a little, but acknowledged he had the version printed by the Reorganized LDS Church.  So I pointed out that verse 11 was not teaching circumcision on the 8 year old birthday, but in fact was talking about accountability, and that verse 17 clearly taught it was still to be done on the 8th day.  I said this made his entire argument false and fall apart.  They immediately went to commercial and dropped me (the last time they carried me through the commercial to continue discussing), and since they had no other callers, clearly this was just to get me off the air.  He then got on air and said I was irrational and that it didn't matter what I had said, because the part about 8-days in verse 17 was an unchanged part of the Bible, and it was done years later.

Literally everything he said was wrong and false.  I would have happily engaged on the Book of Abraham had they allowed me to stay, but I wasn't given the chance or asked.  In any case, as I always say, if the truth about Mormonism is so bad, why do people need to lie about it.  The fact he has before mentioned going to the Joseph Smith Papers website and that he has a copy of the RLDS JST means he is either stupid and has been duped, or he is a deceptive liar.  He really has taken any third option off of the table by claiming to have read from these original documents.

I will try to circle back and get the link for their webcast where they put me on air both weeks.  But you can always know that when someone's main credential is they were a Mormon for "x" number of years and held some high position, that they are probably lacking in the facts department.  Reminds me of Shawn McCraney.  I would love to have a conversation of substance.  I started from a position that maybe he and his wife are just confused.  I will let you decide if that holds up to the light of continuing Truth.