the thinker

Welcome to MormonThink

MormonThink is concerned with truth.  It is neither an anti-Mormon website nor an LDS apologist website.  Instead, for each topic we present the strongest and most compelling arguments and explanations from both the critics and the defenders of the Church.  It is then up to the reader to decide where the preponderance of the evidence lies and which side has dealt more fairly with the issue.

Because we aim to be as complete and impartial as possible, we welcome contributions from readers who can strengthen the positions on either side.  As a result, we present a range of viewpoints, privileging those we believe are the most accurate, consistent, and empirically valid.


You may want to start by reading the Introduction to MormonThink.

Gordon B Hinckley

“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

Note from MormonThink editor - 2024

Many people have asked what has happened to MormonThink? The site hasn't been updated in years. True, many of the founding contributing members have simply moved on with their lives, others don't feel that there really isn't that much more significant that is going to change the fundamental arguments for or against the LDS Church truth claims.  Some of us have suffered personally and professional from our involvement with this site.  

Eventually I personally plan to return to updating MT when my career allows but not for a while.  

I do believe that anyone reading just a portion of the vast information compiled on MormonThink for two decades can come to a pretty definitive conclusion as to what the facts are about the LDS Church truth claims. Many other resources are linked to the site, for and against. 

I recommend the following sources for those that want to continue to learn about Mormon issues that are controversial and continue to be analyzed with sometimes new information and perspectives. (John Dehlin mgr) is probably the most comprehensive and continually updated resource for those seeking to understand the problems and both critical and faithful responses to the issues. Also, Dan Vogel, the premier award-winning historian on Mormon issues continues to publish books and make videos that are excellent and extremely well-researched. 

Looking forward to getting back into Mormonism in the future.



Dan Vogel on mormon stories - 27, January 2019

Award winning mormon scholar and author has 'finally' agreed to do a series of podcast/video interviews for mormon stories.

Dan has so far completed 9 interviews on mormon stories, episodes 1051-1059. You can see them here:

OR watch on youtube



Grant Palmer passes away - 25, September 2017

Grant Palmer has passed away.  Grant Palmer is an author of Mormon books, a former CES Director and most importantly a friend of mine. He has been very helpful to me and to the group at MormonThink almost since its foundation when I asked him some questions about his book "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins". He gave me his number and told me to give him a call. After a long and informative call, we kept a continual dialogue on Mormon topics ever since. We often consult him on Mormon historical issues and he has always been very willing to give us the benefit of his research.

We are proud to have been the host of Grant Palmer's Home Page on MormonThink for over a decade. It remains one of the most popular of MormonThink's pages visited each month where we will always keep a complete archive of all things Grant Palmer including articles he writes, TV appearances, youtube videos, correspondence on his dealing with the LDS Church, etc. No doubt MormonThink would not be as popular as it is without Grant's many contributions over the years.

I can't say enough good things about Grant. Although some apologists criticize him for revealing certain truths about the Church after serving as a Church employee for 33 years, Grant has always been fair with the Church. For example when I was telling him about a quote from Oliver Cowdery that I was thinking about putting on our site, Grant told me that he personally researched that issue and did not think it was a valid quote and told me not to use it. That goes against the claims that some apologists have said that Grant is just trying to destroy the Church.

I've very much enjoyed reading Grant's writings, listening to his podcasts, watching his youtube videos and especially talking with him in person when visiting Utah. Grant, thank you for being my friend and for helping me when I was at my lowest after finding out that the Church I loved and grew up with wasn't exactly what I thought it was.  I will miss my friend Grant very much.

Documentary on Grant Palmer - 30, August 2017

An excellent documentary has been made on Grant Palmer available to view on MormonThink's Youtube Channel. Grant Palmer: An Insider's View of Mormonism

Dying from stage four pancreatic cancer, Grant Palmer  graciously spent time with us sharing his thoughts 
and research regarding the origins of the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Grant has written three landmark books concerning  the rise of Mormonism and the importance of Jesus Christ.

His three books are titled:

1. An insider's view of Mormon origins
2. The incomparable Jesus 
3. Restoring Christ: Leaving Mormon Jesus for Jesus of the Gospels

Grant was very ill at the time of this filming.  His mind was sharp and alert especially considering 
what he was going through. We cannot thank him enough  for the precious time he has put into the making of this film.

Grant's Home Page

Interview with Grant Palmer - 20, August 2017

John Dehlin of mormonstories interview Grant Palmer. In this two-part episode we sit down a final time with Grant Palmer to discuss the release of his final book: Restoring Christ: Leaving Mormon Jesus for Jesus of the Gospels.

Episodes 781-782

Grant Palmer - new book available - 20, July 2017

Grant Palmer, author and former CES Director of the LDS Church has just published a new book titled "Restoring Christ: Leaving Mormon Jesus for Jesus of the Gospels". 

Summary: He has come to greatly prefer the Jesus of the Gospels over the Jesus of Mormonism. This book is an exploration of the foundations of his journey, and what he has chosen to believe, what he hopes others might consider. He writes on Christianity and Mormonism, with the hope that struggling Latter-day Saints can find a way forward with Christ as their foundation. Looking at both Christianity and Mormonism, his intent is to lift the baby from the bathwater, to restore the Savior, with no desire to save the Jesus of Mormonism. Joseph Smith’s Restoration has grave problems. Joseph went astray in his view, because Joseph went beyond the footprint of Jesus’ teachings—committing the same mistake he claimed others had made. 

This book is a Restoration-type endeavor; an effort to rediscover what is most basic, most important. How ironic to seek to restore the Christ of the Gospels from Mormonism! So what does a Latter-day Saint do when they discover that the church narrative they were taught all their life has fallen apart? For him, the “revelations” of Mormon Jesus and their practice by Joseph Smith—as especially seen in chapters 9, 17-19—is radically different from the behavior, character and personality of Jesus of Nazareth. For example, Smith produced “scriptures” which depended on nineteenth-century sources, claiming them to be ancient.  He initiated a secret “spiritual wife system” which included concubines and slandered women who resisted his sexual advances.  He married young teenagers and other men’s wives.  He cursed his enemies and set up a secret organization, had himself ordained king and sought to violently overthrow the Nation. Comparing the two portraits has been the single most cathartic event since Grant’s crisis of faith. He finds the Jesus of the Gospels to better reflect God’s nature and love, and thus how to clearly respond to others as a disciple.

On Amazon at: 



Details on Grant's Home Page.


New Video: Joseph Smith and Other Men's Wives - Dan Vogel - part 3 is now up 29 Dec 2016

Popular author and Mormon historian Dan Vogel's newest video discusses Joseph Smith's polyandrous marriages.

Of the 33 plus women Mormon founder Joseph Smith married, about 14 were already married to other men. This created polyandrous situations in which these women had two husbands. Some Mormon apologists have tried to defend Joseph Smith by arguing that most of the polyandrous marriages were merely ceremonial and intended for the next life only. In this the first of a two-part video, I will discuss the case of Sylvia Sessions Lyon, who believed that her daughter Josephine was the biological daughter of Joseph Smith but through DNA was recently disproved. This has turned out to be the best evidence for sexual polyandry. In a second video I will discuss the other polyandrous wives of Joseph Smith.

Joseph Smith and Other Men's Wives (Pt 1)-Dan Vogel

Joseph Smith and Other Men's Wives (Pt 2) - Dan Vogel

Joseph Smith and Other Men's Wives (Pt 3) - Dan Vogel

LDS historian Richard Bushman speaks about the Church teaching inaccurate history - 14 July 2016

To his credit, LDS patriarch and historian Richard L. Bushman (in the video below) candidly admits that the narrative the LDS church has been teaching its members and investigators for decades, "Is not true."...that the church is on "shaky grounds," and implies that the church "has to change" or it will experience significant problems.

Questioner: In your view do you see room in Mormonism for several narratives of a religious experience or do you think that in order for the Church to remain strong they would have to hold to that dominant [orthodox] narrative?

Richard Bushman: I think that for the Church to remain strong it has to reconstruct its narrative. The dominant narrative is not true; it can't be sustained. The Church has to absorb all this new information or it will be on very shaky grounds and that's what it is trying to do and it will be a strain for a lot of people, older people especially. But I think it has to change.

Richard and Claudia Bushman youtube video

Apostle says the Book of Mormon "is not a textbook of history" - 6 July 2016

LDS Church News: President Russell M. Nelson at a 2016 Seminar for New Mission Presidents said the following about the Book of Mormon:

“There are some things the Book of Mormon is not,” President Nelson said. “It is not a textbook of history, although some history is found within its pages. It is not a definitive work on ancient American agriculture or politics. It is not a record of all former inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere, but only of particular groups of people.”

Link is here

It seems as if the Church wants to leave the Book of Mormon in a sort of gray area where it may not be 100% historical. Nelson's remarks are confusing as the Church, since its foundation in 1830, has always said the Book of Mormon is a true record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. The remarks appear to be geared to the complete and utter lack of any archeological, linguistic or any of scientific evidence to support it. To the contrary, many anachronisms are mentioned in the BofM such as horses, elephants, wheat, barley, steel, silk, etc. which did not exist in the Americas during BofM times. Elder Nelson seems to want to lessen the validity of these arguments with his dismissal of the BofM as a 'textbook'.

Perhaps the LDS Church is foreshadowing the day when they recognize that the BofM might be merely 'inspired' writings of Joseph Smith rather than an accurate account of ancient Israelites that lived in the Americas. The 2nd largest church that uses the BofM, the RLDS Church (Community of Christ) realized this about two decades ago and now makes it optional to believe that the BofM is historically correct or simply inspired writings of Joseph Smith.



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